Free NBA Picks: Back Tempting Wizards Odds Against Jazz

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, February 18, 2016 3:11 PM GMT

Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 3:11 PM GMT

The Jazz saw their seven game winning streak snapped before the break while the Wizards remain on the outside of the playoff bubble. Let’s review the NBA odds first.

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NBA Pick: Wizards PK
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

Utah Jazz (26-26 SU, 27-23-2 ATS)
The Jazz put together a nice seven game winning streak, covering the NBA odds in five of those seven, before they bowed to the Pelicans in New Orleans by the score of 100-96 right before the All-Star break. They now hold a tenuous grip on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference but they have plenty of company nipping at their collective heels.

Trade rumors are swirling that Utah is on the precipice of a deal with the Rockets where they would send former lottery pick Trey Burke to Houston plus another player for veteran point guard Ty Lawson. The 29-year-old Lawson has been a spare part on the Houston roster since head coach Kevin McHale was axed and his replacement J.B. Bickerstaff benched Lawson in favor of Patrick Beverley. If the deal is made by the 3:00 PM deadline then don’t expect to see either in a Jazz uniform for tonight’s tilt with Washington.

 

Washington Wizards (23-28 SU, 26-25 ATS)
The Wizards are struggling and the schedule won’t help as they must play three consecutive games in three nights starting on Thursday. Washington will welcome the Jazz to the Verizon Center tonight and will then host the Pistons tomorrow night before they pack up and head to sunny South Beach where they take on the Heat Saturday evening. It’s quite a stretch but for tonight at least the team will be well rested, as will their opponent, since getting a week off over the break.

Washington has alternated wins and losses over the last four games with their most recent being a 99-92 loss in Milwaukee to the Bucks. Yet those who have included the Wizards in their NBA picks over the last four contests have been rewarded with a 3-1 ATS mark. Veteran guard John Wall has been blazing this season with a 20.0 PPG average and 9.9 assists per game. The team is ranked 9th in the NBA in scoring, averaging 102.7 points per game while their defense has been among the league’s worst allowing 105.4 PPG good for 26th in the NBA.

 

Betting Analysis
Late scratches could affect either one of these teams with the trade deadline looming this afternoon. It is more likely that Utah will be involved in a late trade rather than Washington but we must analyze this game based on the teams as they are presently constituted. Washington is 3-1 straight up over the Jazz over the last three seasons but 2-2 against the number. This will be the first of two meetings between the clubs this season as this game was originally scheduled for January 23rd but was cancelled due to inclement weather.

Washington is 6-2 ATS in their last eight games playing on three days of rest or more while the Jazz are 4-9 against the spread in their last 13 road contests. The rest will do everyone good but John Wall is a man on a mission this season and the Jazz lack the firepower to score averaging just 97.8 points per game. While it is true Utah has been one of the best defensive units this season allowing an average of just 96.4 PPG (3rd) I believe John Wall will be able to open this game up freeing Jared Dudley to hit from the outside and getting Marcin Gortat grabbing boards down low as he has averaged double digits in rebounding over his last four contests.

The bottom line is we have two evenly matched teams with the Wizards holding a decided scoring advantage while the Jazz are far superior defensively. Yet, it is Washington that owns the home court advantage while the Jazz could be missing a guard or two after the trade deadline.

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