NBA Picks: Injuries Will Bring Pelicans Down Against Wizards

Jason Lake

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 3:23 PM GMT

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 3:23 PM GMT

Anthony Davis just had a monster game for the New Orleans Pelicans, but injuries won't help them beat the NBA odds Tuesday when they visit the Washington Wizards.

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Feb. 22: 22-28-1 ATS, 5-1-1 Total

At some point, Anthony Davis is going to be on a very good team that makes a deep run into the playoffs. Then everyone will be talking about The Brow all the time. Until then, we'll have to settle for rare days like this past Sunday; Davis dropped 59 points and 20 rebounds on the Detroit Pistons, leading his New Orleans Pelicans to a 111-106 win as 5-point road dogs. The only other players in NBA history with at least 55 points and 20 boards in a single game were Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O'Neal.

Sadly, Davis isn't very likely to repeat that performance Tuesday night (7:00 p.m ET, NBA-TV) when the Pellies visit the Washington Wizards. His supporting cast is dwindling, and the Wizards just added PF Markieff Morris at the trade deadline. Washington might have some value here as a 3.5-point home chalk on the NBA odds boards. Let's see if the numbers add up.

 

Don't Bring Me Down
Nate Silver and the folks at FiveThirtyEight aren't convinced. They've projected a spread of Wizards –2.5 for Tuesday's matchup; however, their model relies on Elo ratings (created by chess master Arpad Elo and first used in 1960), which take into account how teams performed the previous year – while not adjusting for trades or injuries. Not yet, at least. They're working on it.

Meanwhile, Basketball-Reference have their Simple Rating System, which only looks at the results from this season, and they've got Washington (–1.76 SRS) doing about a half-point better than New Orleans (–2.33 SRS) thus far. That would work out to roughly Wizards –4 at home; again, this doesn't take trades and injuries into consideration. Which is what we'll do right now.

 

Eric's Trip
The Pelicans (22-33 SU, 23-32 ATS) managed to make the playoffs last year despite a rash of injuries. This year, things have gotten even worse. Guard Tyreke Evans (18.4 PER, +2.1 BPM) looks like he's out for the rest of the season after having surgery on his right knee two weeks ago. Guard Eric Gordon (13.1 PER, –0.6 BPM) is close to rejoining the lineup after missing over a month with a broken finger, but he's not expected to play Tuesday.

On top of that, center Omer Asik (11.6 PER, –3.6 BPM) had to leave Sunday's game against Detroit after spraining his right ankle. He's considered questionable for Tuesday. This has been Asik's worst season in the NBA, but the Pellies need his size and his rebounding (12.9 boards per 36 minutes).

They need it even more after the now-healthy Wizards (25-29 SU, 28-26 ATS) beefed up their frontcourt with the addition of Morris (11.0 PER, –3.9 BPM), who gets a fresh sheet in D.C. after falling out with the Phoenix Suns. Factor in the inflated expectations Davis just introduced to the marketplace with his 59-and-20, and we'll gladly recommend the Wiz for your NBA Picks this week. May the sphere be with you.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2883300, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,93,19,92,238,169], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
NBA Pick: Washington Wizards -5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

comment here