NBA Picks: Wizards vs. Bulls Game 2

Jeff Grant

Monday, April 21, 2014 6:47 PM GMT

The Washington Wizards have a variety of offensive weapons, which provides them value in the betting market as an underdog against the Chicago Bulls Tuesday.

Hit the Wall
Washington point guard John Wall mentioned there was a point in Sunday’s game that he couldn’t breathe due to the intensity of his first playoff experience, but the squad was able to muster up enough energy to pick up a 102-93 victory over Chicago as 4.5-point road underdogs. 

The Wizards point guard finished with 16 points and 6 assists, which happened to be below his regular season averages of 20.7 and 8 respectively in those categories in three meetings.

NBA handicappers will find that the franchise is 12-22 SU and 16-17-1 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record.

 
Where’s the defense?
Chicago led the NBA in scoring defense and was second in opponent field goal percentage entering the postseason, but head coach Tom Thibodeau watched his club allow 102 points on 48 percent shooting, while also getting outrebounded by a 45-39 margin

It’s important to point out that the Bulls were able to control the Wizards starting backcourt consisting of Wall and Bradley Beal, as the duo went 7-for-25 from the field.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the squad is 41-42 SUATS versus foes that average 99 or more points per game.

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From way downtown
The Wizards finished the regular season strong by going 19-11 after the All-Star break—averaging 103.0 points per game while holding foes to 99.2 points per contest over that span. 

Washington has the ability of running away with this series if it continues shooting well from beyond the arc, as it ranked tied for fourth in the league in knocking down 38 percent of its attempts from beyond the arc.


Uphill climb
Since 1946-47, the team that wins Game 1 of a best-of-seven series has gone on to advance 77.3 percent of the team. 

The Bulls certainly face an uphill climb at this point, but they’ll likely lean on their 118-44 SU all-time postseason record when playing in the Windy City.

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Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Wizards as one of their NBA playoff picks, as the underdog has covered the number in the last five meetings. 

Sports bettors will also find that the No. 5 seed is 31-29 in series matchups with the fourth-seeded team since the current format of 16 teams was instituted in 1984.

Pick: Washington Wizards +5.