Fast-Starting Offenses Provide Value Pick in Raptors-Wizards Game

raptors wizards nba

Jordan Sharp

Friday, March 2, 2018 3:35 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 2, 2018 3:35 PM UTC

Washington has held serve as best as possible without John Wall, and another big test is tonight when Toronto visits. The first-half total seems like the most valuable wager.

Friday NBA: Raptors vs. WizardsFree NBA Pick: Over 110½ 1HBest Line Offered: Bookmaker

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John Wall has sat out 15 games after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, and Washington is still playing well on offense, especially in the first half of games.

The Wizards are averaging nearly 60 points per first half over their past five games. Since Wall went down, they have pretty regularly been cashing the "over" in their first-half totals.

Tonight they face one of the better first-half offenses in the league. According to NBA Stats, the Raptors trail only Houston in first-half offense, averaging 112.8 points per 100 possessions during the first two quarters of their games this season. The Wizards ranked seventh at 109.3, so by all accounts these two teams know how to start fast.

What’s scary, though, is how good these two have been over the past month, especially the Raptors. Dating to January 27, Toronto owns a league-best first-half offensive rating of 118.9, which is a full two points better than second-ranked Minnesota in that span.

January 27 is also the first game Wall missed with his knee injury. Since then, the Wizards’ first-half offensive rating has gone way up, at nearly 114 points per 100 possessions.

Look at the highlights from the most recent Wizards-Raptors meeting. It was Washington’s third game without Wall, and the Wiz dropped 122 points and assisted on 30 of their 44 made field goals:

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It’s not surprising, because it has been noted now -- a month later -- that Washington is moving the ball better without Wall. With the Wizards playing a team tonight that is also red-hot offensively, especially in the first half, take the first-half "over" with your NBA picks.

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