John Wall and the Wizards invade the Big Easy tonight, and they'll be the NBA betting underdogs for this matchup with Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. Look inside for our free NBA picks for this matchup.
The Wizards are three-point dogs for tonight's visit to New Orleans, which is an appealing situation considering they've been one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference all season long. You don't find them as underdogs very often on the NBA odds boards
For now, we can see the O/U trading at 200.5. Both teams barely crack the 100-points-per-game mark in terms of season averages, whereas defensively the Wizards (#6 in points allowed) have been far better than the Pelicans (#21 in the NBA).
New Orleans Pelicans
The up-and-down season for the Pelicans continues to roar on. They've now alternated wins and losses over their last nine games, which has them at 17-16 overall. Though it's not the best mark, New Orleans is clearly on the right track in the grand scheme of things, and the team's most recent domination of Houston is proof of that.
The Pelicans were relentless against the Rockets, racing out to a 17-point lead by halftime and not letting up on their way to a 111-83 victory. New Orleans shot 53.0 percent overall, 46.7 percent from the 3-point line and 80.0 percent from the free throw line, with Tyreke Evans (21/5/4 on 10-of-15 shooting) doing most of the damage before getting to rest late in the blowout.
A dominant Anthony Davis performance wasn't needed against the lackluster Rockets, but it may be required against Washington this evening. Davis has been a straight up beast throughout the season, averaging 23.8 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 2.9 BPG and 1.7 SPG, and he's quickly become one of the premier players in the league. Evans has been doing very well too, as has Jrue Holiday, albeit on a more inconsistent basis. But, will that trio's showings be enough to lead New Orleans to a win over a talented Wizards squad?
It's been a rough road trip for the Wizards, as they've dropped three straight heading into tonight. They've fallen victim to the Mavericks, Thunder and Spurs, though, so we should take into consideration how strong their opposition has been.
Washington has been off since Saturday's loss to San Antonio, a game in which they simply ran out of gas. After all, it was the team's second game in as many nights, and they had just wrapped up a highly competitive game against Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and the Thunder. To turn around and have to play the defending champion Spurs the next night is almost cruel. The Wizards can't be too happy with the NBA schedulemakers.
What we're getting at: don't all of a sudden jump off the Washington train. The Wizards have been the victims of a daunting schedule recently, so we're not about to overreact to their three-game losing streak. This team is far too talented to keep losing,.
We're going to jump on the chance to back the Wizards in this spot. Obviously Davis is a force to be reckoned with, but the Wizards appear to be one of the few teams in the NBA who have the personnel to at least stop him from going bananas out there.
In fact, Washington has been one of the better teams in the league defensively, and that's always something that's appealing when considering our NBA picks. They've given up an average of just 97.8 points per game.
So, while it's been a rough stretch for the Wizards, having lost three in a row, we don't anticipate that streak to last past night. Look for Wall and his Washington compadres to close out this road trip in style and in turn covering the NBA odds as underdogs. Simply put: they're the better overall team, so getting points almost seems unfair. Best of luck!
Free NBA Pick: Washington Wizards +3