NBA Picks: Trail Blazers Handle Woeful Wizards

Saturday, November 17, 2018 5:49 PM UTC

Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 5:49 PM UTC

This Sunday night NBA contest finds the Portland Trail Blazers atop the Northwest Division, while the Washington Wizards would be in last place in the Southeast Division if Atlanta was not so awful.

<h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="" title="Top Rated Sportsbook"><strong>Portland (10-5 SU, 10-5 ATS) vs Washington (5-10, 4-10-1 ATS)</strong></a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>Sunday,6:05 p.m. ET</strong></h2><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>Free NBA Pick: Portland ATS</strong></h2><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=BetOnline" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">at BetOnline</a></strong></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3570022, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,180,169,93,139], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>For those studying the<a href="" target="_blank" title="No need to shop for odds just use the SBR odds page. "> NBA odds</a> on daily basis, you probably realize this matchup features one of the best against the spread teams versus one of the worst. Portland's fast start cannot be considered a surprise since they won their division last year before being swept by New Orleans in their first round matchup as the No.3 seed out West.</p><p>Washington started slowly last year but played well enough to sneak into the postseason as the 8th seed, where top-seed Toronto concluded their season six games later.</p><p>What side should you be on for <a href="" target="_blank" title="Free NBA picks every single day from SBR experts. ">NBA picks</a>, let's break it down.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Blazers Blast</strong></h2><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Back at it on Sunday 🎥 &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;November 17, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>Head coach Terry Stotts got his players to listen last year. Portland was known for offense with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum a terrific guard tandem. But two seasons ago the Trail Blazers were defensive matadors and finished 25th in points allowed. Last year, they bought into the coach's message about being committed on the defensive end and the Blazers jumped all the way to sixth.</p><p>After being run off the court by New Orleans hyper-speed style, Stotts and his coaches sold the Portland players on working harder each time the other team had the ball. Players like center Jusuf Nurkic, Zach Collins and Al-Farouq Aminu has really taken this to heart and currently, the Blazers lead the league in field goal percentage defense.</p><p>That type of commitment along with continually growing offense beyond just Lillard and McCollum gives Portland a chance to win every time they play.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Wizards Wonderments</strong></h2><p>Among the many disappointments in Washington's slow start is John Wall being called into question for having been seen by too many people at clubs. If the Wizards were winning, this would be a non-issue, but because they are not, it is.</p><p>There are reasons to believe Washington could start improving with Dwight Howard playing again. This provides the Wizards a presence in the paint on both ends of the floor. However, this does not fall all on Howard, as he's 32 with knee issues and a bad back. The other players have to accept responsibility for playing with greater intensity when they are on defense.</p><p>Washington does not win this game or be anything more than a .500 team if they remain 26th in defensive field goal percentage and defensive efficiency.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>The Outcome</strong></h2><p>Washington is simply not playing good basketball. As noted above, their spread record is poor and they are 1-5 ATS when facing winning teams. The Blazers are 22-9 ATS against an opponent that just allowed 100 or more points and they are also 19-9 ATS after they surrendered 100 or more points. Grab the Portland.</p>
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