NBA Picks: Expect Wizards To Bounce Back Tonight vs. Raptors

Charles Stark

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 12:02 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 12:02 PM UTC

Toronto is one of the hottest teams in the NBA winning their last eight. Tonight they take on a team that is trying to find their stride again in the Washington Wizards, who will be our NBA pick?

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NBA Pick: Wizards +8.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


NBA Odds makers have made Washington a +7.5 underdog and the total around 205.  Considering they lost by nine at home just two weeks ago to the Raptors this line seems a bit off at first glance, but that was without Bradley Beal.  I expect him to play tonight despite getting hit in the face last night. Even with Toronto's recent hot streak I believe the value is taking the points with the Wizards tonight so I will back them getting the points for my selection.


Washington Wizards
The Wizards are averaging 102.2 points per game while shooting 45.5% from the field, and allowing 103.8 points per game on 46.8% shooting from the field.  On the season Washington is 22-19 against the spread overall and 11-7 on the road. With Beal back in the lineup they have been more formidable recently with only one loss over today's spread in their last ten games, not including forgetting to show up the second half against Boston yesterday.  Offensively they rank as one of the better teams in the NBA ranking in the top ten in field goals made per game, shooting efficiency, effective field goal percentage, and two point shooting percentage.  They also rank sixth and fourth in assists per game and three point shooting percentage respectively.  The main issue for them has been on the defensive end where they rank in the bottom part of the league in most categories, but this can be partly attributed to not having all their personnel.  The Wizards rank 28th or lower in opponent shooting efficiency, opponent effective field goal and overall shooting percentage.  They do control tempo decently well allowing just 83 opponent field goal attempts per game which ranks 10th, and defend the paint allowing just 40.6 points per game which ranks 11th.  Tonight they will have their hands full with a very good team in Toronto but with the way they have been playing, and now healthy, I like for them to keep this game relatively close.  After last night's debacle they should come in and play much better.


Toronto Raptors
Toronto is averaging 101.2 points per game while averaging 44.6%, and allowing 96.8 points per game on 45.5% shooting from the field.  On the year the Raptors are 26-18 against the spread overall and 12-9 at home. They have been rolling recently and look to be a serious contender in the East.  Offensively they are very different from last year and have been focused more on defense and controlling tempo.  This has led them to be rather efficient on this end of the floor as they rank eighth in shooting efficiency, they also only attempt 81.5 shots per game which ranks 27th in the league.  Toronto has also been very good from beyond the arc averaging 36.4% from distance which ranks sixth in the league.  Defensively this is a much better Raptor team than last year and they rank in the top part of the league in some of the most important categories.  Although they have not been great defending beyond the arc allowing opponents to shoot 37.4% from distance, they have been solid in the interior allowing just 39.4 points in the paint (seventh), and 35.9 opponent field goals made (fifth), per game.  Their tempo and pace has them playing some solid defense but their lack of defending beyond the arc might be an issue tonight against a very good three point shooting team in Washington.

This number seems a bit off at first glance but these teams matchup actually really well.  For one of your NBA picks I recommend grabbing the points with the Wizards who have enough to hang within this number.  As long as Beal plays, which I expect, they should bounce back tonight after getting blown out at home yesterday.

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