Free NBA Picks for Bucks vs. Wizards

Matthew Jordan

Saturday, April 12, 2014 1:46 PM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 12, 2014 1:46 PM UTC

The Milwaukee Bucks are going to set a franchise record for the fewest road wins in a season and most overall losses in a year. Could they pull off an upset of Washington on Saturday to finish a season sweep in the nation's capital?

And if so, shouldn't that automatically disqualify Washington from playing in the postseason?

Washington opened as an 11.5-point favorite on NBA odds with a total of 200.5 for sports bettors.


Bucks' Season Can't End Soon Enough
This has been by far the worst season in Bucks history, with the franchise's previous worst coming in 1993-94 when it finished 20-62. Milwaukee didn't have the worst record in the NBA that year but did win the lottery. It seemed a no-brainer choice when the Bucks took Purdue's Glenn Robinson No. 1 overall in that 1994 draft. He was a solid player, but it's clear now Milwaukee should have taken future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd, who went No. 2 to Dallas.

The Bucks (19-20 ATS, 24-15 O/U on road at sportsbooks) will have the most ping-pong balls in next month's draft lottery and this draft is considered loaded, if not quite as much as expected heading into the 2013-14 NCAA season. Milwaukee has to be jumping for joy that both Kansas star freshmen, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, already have declared. The Bucks no doubt would like to see Duke's Jabari Parker do the same so they can pick between those three should the win the lottery. Most recent mock drafts have the Bucks leaning toward Wiggins. Milwaukee already has some quality big men in Ersan Ilyasova, John Henson and Larry Sanders but is awful on the wing, where Wiggins would play. Plus you have Embiid's back concerns.

Milwaukee entered Friday's home game against Cleveland having lost six straight and 14 of 15. Sanders has played only 23 games this season due to injury and was recently given a five-game suspension for testing positive for marijuana. The good news: He can serve it in the final five games this year despite being hurt. The Bucks gave O.J. Mayo a three-year, $24 million deal this offseason, and he has been terrible, hurt or in Coach Larry Drew's doghouse. About the only bright spot this season has been the play of point guard Brandon Knight, who was acquired over the summer from Detroit for Brandon Jennings. Knight is averaging career highs in points (17.7), assists (4.9) and rebounds (3.5). He still needs to improve his jumper (41.7 percent) but for now the Bucks got the better of that trade.

It there was such a thing as a low spot this season for the Bucks it may have been Wednesday. Pacers coach Frank Vogel made a statement by benching his entire starting five for the game, trotting out Rasual Butler, Donald Sloan, Evan Turner, Luis Scola and Ian Mahinmi. Yet Milwaukee still couldn't win. It was no fault of Knight's as he had 25 points and 10 assists.

Take a Look at the Valuable NBA Picks for Saturday Night

Unlucky No. 7 For Wizards?
The Wizards (15-23-1 ATS, 17-22 O/U at home on sportsbooks) played in Orlando on Friday night. Washington's 94-88 overtime loss at home to Charlotte on Wednesday -- the second straight home game the Wizards have been held under 90 points -- was a good news/bad news thing. The good: big man Nene played for the first time in more than six weeks due to a knee injury. He had 10 points (yet no rebounds) in 17 minutes off the bench. Nene is likely to stay a reserve instead of returning to the starting five and stay on a minutes limit.

The bad: Washington was 1-for-15 from 3-point range and an ill Trevor Ariza had zero points in 39 minutes. The Wizards were 0-for-8 from the field in OT for one point. Worse: The Bobcats tied the Wizards for the sixth seed in the East but now hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. Washington will enter the playoffs with the worst home record (currently 20-19) of any team in the Eastern or Western Conference so maybe it's good the Wizards will open the playoffs at either Miami or Indiana if they are the No. 7 seed.


Season Series
The Bucks have five road wins all season and haven't won away from the Bradley Center since Feb. 24 at Philadelphia, which shouldn't count. That, folks, is Milwaukee's only road win in New Year. However, the Bucks did win in D.C. on Dec. 6, 109-105 in overtime as the Wizards were 0-for-6 in that extra session. The Wizards won the other two meetings but both were pretty close. The March 8 game was interesting. Washington won 114-107 in Milwaukee. The Bucks allowed a season-high 75 first-half points and then just 10 in the third quarter, their fewest allowed in any quarter this season.

Free NBA Picks & Betting Predictions

NBA Free Picks: Wizards -11.5 and the over 200.5 on NBA odds. Both playing in a back-to-back Friday and both flying to D.C. Edge: neither. Washington still wants this for seeding and certainly would like to avoid the embarrassment of being swept at home by this sorry Bucks team. The Wizards have covered six of their past eight in the second of  a back-to-back. The over is 4-0 in the past four meetings.

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