Offensive Prowess Makes Wizards Our NBA Pick Against Grizzlies

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 5:29 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015 5:29 PM UTC

We analyze this game with a view towards cashing in our NBA picks tonight. The Grizzlies notched their second straight win over the Sixers & the Wizards are in a two-game win streak of their own.

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Free NBA Pick: Wizards +1
Best Line Offered: at GTBets


Memphis Grizzlies (16-14 SU, 13-16-1 ATS)
Memphis flew to the City of Brother Love last night to open a three-game road trip and so far, so good as they dispatched the hapless 76’ers 104-90 which rewarded all those who included the Grizzlies in the NBA picks with an ATS cover as 10-point road chalk. Center Marc Gasol led the charge with 19 points while Memphis boasted five players in double figures in Tuesday night’s victory. The club held a team to fewer than 100 points for the fifth consecutive game and their defense currently ranks 14th in the league allowing 99.8 points per game.

The recently improved defensive effort has much to do with a smaller more opportunistic lineup that has seen Matt Barnes assume a starting role over 15-year veteran Zach Randolph. The offense has not exactly sparkled this season, averaging 96.2 points per game which places them near the bottom of the league, but their improvement on defense has allowed the Grizzlies to stay more competitive. Entering this contest tonight, the club has more wins than losses which places them in the thick of the playoff hunt.


Washington Wizards (12-14 SU, 13-13 ATS)
Washington has strung together a pair of impressive wins with a 109-101 victory over the Hornets on Saturday night as two point home dogs, then bounced right back by beating the Sacramento Kings 113-99 as 2½ point home favorites in NBA odds. The Wizards will be gunning to make this three-game homestand a clean sweep with a victory tonight over the Grizzlies before they travel to Brooklyn on Saturday. Washington is currently ranked 12th in the league in scoring, averaging 102 points per game while their defense has not been nearly as effective surrendering 105.5 PPG which places them 26th in the league.

Veteran point guard John Wall dished out a career best 19 assists to go along with 12 points in the team’s win over Sacramento on Monday night but did sustain a rib injury in the closing moments of the game. He is expected to suit up tonight but his status is technically uncertain as of this writing. The Wizards have felt the bitter sting of the injury bug with only eight players available in Monday night’s win over the Kings. Nevertheless, big man Marcin Gortat poured in a game high 27 points including a season-high 16 boards along with four blocked shots. Washington looks to be shorthanded yet again for tonight’s tip off, but the uptick in minutes for the bench players has produced positive results recently.


Betting Analysis
While it would be a big boon to our analysis if we knew for certain that John Wall will be playing tonight for the Wizards, we will assume, based on Wall’s own comments and speculation throughout the sports gambling world, that he will be in uniform and starting when the teams clash in DC. That being said, I like Washington in this spot. They are not known for their defensive prowess, but fortunately they are playing a team that doesn’t do a whole lot of scoring. However, what they do well is score and despite a smaller Memphis lineup that applies more defensive pressure, I believe that will not mitigate the damage the Wizards can do offensively.

Washington won decisively the last time the teams met at the United Center with a 112-95 throttling of the Grizzlies in March of last season. Now Memphis must head into DC after playing a game last night in Philly. Back-to-back games get more difficult as the season progresses, not to mention the holiday is looming with a quick flight back to Memphis before they must return to action the day after Christmas. Players are human and the effects of travel take a toll on all of us…even professional athletes.

Here are a few stats to bolster my argument:

  • Grizzlies are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a straight up and ATS win.

  • Grizzlies are 0-4 ATS in their last four after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.

  • Wizards are 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a home underdog of 0.5-4.5.

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