Sweet Spots in NBA Betting: Start Thinking 'Under' With Wizards

Jay Pryce

Sunday, February 4, 2018 5:40 PM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 5:40 PM UTC

Our top handicapping angles for the NBA feature a slower Wizards team minus Wall, the Warriors stumbling against good shot blockers, and the Hornets over/under off a big road effort from Walker.

NBA: Sweet Spots of the Week, Feb. 4-9Monday, February 5Wizards vs. Pacers

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Washington star John Wall (19.4 ppg, 9.3 apg) hasn’t played up to his standards on a consistent basis this season, battling a sore left knee much of the time. The point guard opted for arthroscopic knee surgery, which is set for Wednesday. This will put Wall on the shelf for 6-to-8 weeks. Expect the Wizards' scoring to plummet.

Since the start of last season, the "under" is 12-6-1 when Wall sits out. Games tend to slow down without the five-time All-Star controlling play. A 206.0 combined score is staying 2.4 points below a 208.4 average total under these conditions, as opposed to a 216.4 final tally (213.9 avg. total) suiting up. In road games, the final score dips to 204.1 per tilt. Look for the market to react slowly. Check the NBA odds board and lean "under" with Washington at Indiana on Monday, and then at Philly on Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 6Thunder vs. Warriors

Coach Steve Kerr’s Warriors offense is efficiency-driven, taking the majority of shots at the rim, from behind the 3-point line, or in transition. There are few weak spots with the unit. One area they struggle in is getting their shots swatted. Golden State leads the NBA in both offensive (8.7) and defensive block percentage (4.2).

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Squaring off against good shot-blocking teams tends to hurt the Warriors in the betting market. This is likely because Golden State averages 44.6 points per game in the paint (13th). When facing a team swatting more than the 4.77 NBA median on the year, it is just 7-17 ATS, including dropping six of the last seven. The Warriors are coming up 4.1 points shy of a -9.7 average line. The Thunder rank 10th in the league with 5.1 blocks per game. Lean OKC here with your NBA picks.

Thursday, February 8Hornets vs. Trail Blazers

Charlotte plays a four-game road swing this week, and bettors need to monitor Kemba Walker. Recently snubbed as an All-Star replacement for the injured Kevin Love after making his first and only appearance last year, the six-year vet dropped 41 points last time out in a 133-126 home win over the Pacers. If Walker puts in a similar performance this week, bettors need to lean "under" the total next time out. Here’s why:

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Carrying the Hornets on offense much of his career, look for the team to battle in a grind-it-out affair following a big points night on the road. Since 2014, the "under" is 13-6 when Walker drops more than his 22.8 season average in a prior away contest in this situation. His numbers dip to 20.3 points and 4.9 assists per 35.7 minutes in the follow-up effort. It’s tough to string together a pair of team-carrying nights on the road in this league, maybe unless you’re a perennial All-Star. The final score will suffer. Go low in this spot if the opportunity arises.

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