Reeling Magic Just What Wizards Need to Regain Form

Troy Haliburton

Friday, January 12, 2018 5:17 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 5:17 PM UTC

Washington has struggled against bad teams, but Friday's game against Orlando provides the perfect opportunity to change that -- and add to your wallet with these NBA picks.

Friday NBA: Magic vs. Wizards

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Free NBA Pick: Wizards -10Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

The Wizards enter tonight’s game against the Magic with a league-worst 10-11 record against teams under .500, and their inability to take care of business against inferior teams is taking its toll. Frustrations are mounting in Washington, as the team that had such high hopes before the season seems to be stuck in a rut of mediocrity.

Giving more effort would help. And making shots would not hurt, either.

John Wall and Bradley Beal are All-Star hopefuls, but both players are shooting less than 34 percent from the field in the fourth quarter of games. There is no way a team with as many depth issues as the Wizards can sustain a high level of play when their star players are not making shots at key times.

Orlando’s season has derailed after a hot start, so much so that they are +10 road underdogs on the NBA odds board for tonight's game. The Magic appear to be sellers in the trade-deadline market, and every game they play is a showcase for their players.

Washington’s problem against sub-.500 teams is to be noted, but so should their impressive 11-6 record ATS in games after a loss. I expect the Wizards to get back on track against the lowly Magic.

Friday NBA: Trail Blazers vs. Pelicans

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Free NBA Pick: Trail Blazers +2Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

New Orleans is surprisingly sitting at 20-20 nearing the halfway mark and has put themselves squarely in position for a playoff spot in the tough Western Conference. One of the teams in front of them in the standings is a feisty Portland squad.

This matchup consists of two teams who complete on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of roster construction. The Blazers are built around dynamite guards .C.J McCollum and Damian Lillard, while the Pelicans have dominant big men in DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis. This game will come down to which ancillary players will have the better outing. My guess is that a proven veteran such as the Pelicans' Jrue Holiday will have a better opportunity to impact the game on the perimeter than a younger Jusuf Nurkic will in the paint.

New Orleans seems to be playing better since inserting Rajon Rondo into the starting lineup and allowing him to run the offense, while Holiday is able to play off the ball and create his own shot. However, for this NBA pick, I think Portland’s guards will make life difficult for the Pelicans and use a strong performance from their backcourt to pull of the upset.

Friday NBA: Warriors vs. Bucks

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Free NBA Pick: Warriors -6Best Line Offered: Intertops

The Bucks started the season riding high on the The Greek Freak allure that is taking the NBA by storm, and while Giannis Antetokounmpo is still playing at an extremely high level, it is not resulting in wins. Simply put, his teammates are letting him down. Milwaukee's outside shooters have one of the easiest jobs in America because all they have to do is stand in their hot spots and wait for the defense to sink in on Antetokounmpo, leaving them wide open.

The Bucks shot 9-for-30 from deep in their previous game, and it was frustrating to watch. This team wins when Giannis has support, and will more than likely lose when the team fails to take advantage of opposing defenses leaving them wide open.

The Warriors have one of the better defenses in the NBA and they are master of forcing teams to play out of their character. In tonight's matchup, Golden State will keep Antetokounmpo out of the paint and force the other shooters to try and beat them.

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