The Wizards will be out for revenge when they take on the Hornets in Charlotte this evening. Let's examine the NBA odds for tonight's Eastern Conference battle.
The lines have already shifted and it wouldn't be surprising to see them continue to move throughout the day and leading up until tipoff. As of now, the Wizards are favored by a point, though they opened up as underdogs on the NBA betting odds board.
This should easily be the lowest-scoring game of the night when looking at the overall slate, and the oddsmakers agree, having posted a total of 186. For the record, that's at least 20 points lower than each of the other three games tonight.
You may be surprised to know the Hornets have been one of the hotter teams around in recent weeks. Even though injuries have popped up, Charlotte has continued its positive momentum and now stands at a much more respectable 21-27 this season. Not too long ago this team was 10-24, so there's definitely been improvement.
That makes the Hornets 11-3 over their past 14 games, which is a large enough sample size to suggest this is a team that's on the rise again. Walker will remain sidelined for a while, but at least Al Jefferson and Lance Stephenson are both healthy again and working their way back into game shape. Stephenson appears committed to the cause despite trade rumors, but he's yet to really reach his best level with his new team just yet.
Walker's absence is a massive blow and one that shouldn't go unnoticed. The Hornets have been on the rise, but they've benefited from a relatively easy schedule during this run of theirs.
The Wizards have lost four straight games heading into tonight. They've lost to the Suns, Raptors, Hawks and this same Hornets team, a bad run that's dropped them to 31-19 overall this season. That's still good enough for third place in the East, but all of a sudden the Cavaliers and Bulls are going on runs and are sure to put the pressure on.
Washington seemingly has as good of a chance of any in the conference to hold their own come playoff time. The Wizards have a deadly backcourt duo in John Wall and Bradley Beal that often gives them a big advantage matchup-wise, and they've got a lot of toughness inside with Marcin Gortat and Nene as well. Throw in a savvy vet like Paul Pierce and some good bench players and you can see why the Wizards have been floating near the top.
Recent results haven't been good at all, but this team isn't going anywhere. Washington isn't going to lay down and die despite this being the team's third game in four nights. Wall and Beal are going to need to be hitting their shots and playing well for the Wizards to finally end this losing run.
The Wizards are not playing well at the moment, but we're going back to the well with them for tonight. They were the better team even when the Hornets had Kemba Walker healthy, so we don't exactly trust Charlotte in this situation.
Yes, the Hornets won a few days ago (and have been playing very well overall), but that's only going to serve as more motivation for Washington. You'd also have to say this is a great matchup for Wall, as he gets to come up against Brian Roberts instead of Walker, a much easier overall matchup. Wall should be in store for another big game this evening.
As you can see, we're digging the value on the Wizards tonight. We're siding with them to win straight up and therefore will add them to our NBA picks as one-point chalk.
Free NBA Pick: Washington Wizards -1 at The Greek