Can the Washington Wizards continue to punch above their weight class? Find out as we preview Game 4 of this series and serve up NBA picks with the Wizards looking to go up 3-1 over the Hawks.
Washington Wizards Up 2-1
The Washington Wizards are taking it to the Atlanta Hawks in their Eastern Conference Semi-final clash. Despite the NBA betting odds, they are up 2-1 in the series and looking to go one better on Monday night in game 4 of the series. Can they pull off the feat?
As it is, odds makers continue to disparage the Wizards on the NBA odds board. They have home advantage for game 4, but they enter as the decisive underdogs trading at +167 to win outright and at 4.5-points against the spread. It's also worth noting that the line opened on 2.5-points in early NBA betting markets and has since been bet up to 4.5-points.
The Wizards got off the mark quickly in this series, taking game 1 by a narrow 104-98 score, coming through for their backers as the 5.5-point road underdogs. In game 2, the Hawks did bounce back to win 106-90 and cover as the 9-point home chalk. With the series headed to Washington, however, the Wizards banked on home advantage to take the narrow 103-101 win, all while covering as the 4-point underdogs. For total bettors, this series has gone 2-1 in over-under betting.
Aside from game 2, the two other games were close calls. Game 3 saw Paul Pierce tuck a 21-foot bank shot to lift the Wizards to the improbable 103-101 win. Consider how close this series has been so far, it's no surprise the bottom seeded Wizards are getting no favours in NBA betting markets. That said, they have to fancy their chances on home ground where they are 5-1 SU in their last six meetings with the Atlanta Hawks. So perhaps these pups shouldn't be overlooked on your NBA picks.
Atlanta Hawks Favoured Huge
Naturally, as the top seed in the Eastern Conference the Atlanta Hawks enter game 4 as the road favourites across sports betting platforms. That they are favoured at whopping -192 NBA odds however appears a touch overzealous. The reality is they are trailing 1-2 in this series and have had their hands more than full with the plucky Wizards. What's more, their record in the nation's capital is nothing to write home about (1-5 SU in the last six meetings).
The Hawks are in more trouble than the odds makers let on. If they lose this game, they'll slip to a 1-3 SU record in this series and their NBA playoff hopes will hang by the proverbial thread.
Of course, seeing as they are the top seed, the expectation is that they'll bounce back. Not unlike game 2 when they crushed the Wizards 106-90. Indeed, they'll need a similar such performance tonight, or else they'll be heading back to Atlanta on the brink of elimination.
NBA Betting Verdict
The NBA betting market on this game is in tune to the respective seed of each team, but It's nowhere nearly close enough to reflecting performance and status quo. Nobody that's avidly followed the Wizards through these NBA playoffs is going to be pleased about their evaluation for this game. They swept the Raptors in fine style, defying the NBA betting outlook emphatically. And while they're not going to have as easy a time of it against the Hawks, they're proving to have the measure of the top seeds better than most expected them to. Heck, they lead the series 2-1 and have home advantage for game 4 where they have a really good record against the Hawks.
Granted one expects top seeds to play like top seeds and bounce back when faced with adversity. Hence, the Hawks to win game 4 is the popular NBA pick in NBA betting circles. However, for our money, we're not willing to skip this opportunity to back the very confident Wizards for the home win as the underdogs. AT +165 NBA odds, it's just too valuable of an NBA pick to let slip.
NBA Picks: Wizards +171 at Pinnacle