Washington Wizards are the NBA Pick ATS at Atlanta

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 6:52 PM GMT

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015 6:52 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Wednesday.

 

The hottest team in the NBA has not been so hot at the betting windows lately, and that may continue Wednesday night when the Washington Wizards (31-18, 13-10 away) pay a visit to those Atlanta Hawks (40-9, 23-3 home) at Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA at 7:35 ET in a game available on Comcast SportsNet - DC.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Washington as a road underdog for this contest with the current line at +5½ with odds of -101.


Hawks Finally Lose a Game
The 40-9 Hawks finally had their 19-game winning streak snapped by the Pelicans in New Orleans on Monday 115-100, a defeat that still leaves Atlanta at an obscene 33-3 straight up in 36 games since Thanksgiving! That defeat did drop the Hawks behind the 38-8 Golden State Warriors for the best record in the NBA by 10 percentage points, but the Hawks still lead these Wizards by nine games in the Southeast Division.

Washington has not helped its standing by being the losing NBA pick in three straight games, most recently 92-88 at home as an eight-point favorite to the Charlotte Hornets on Monday. Remember though that the Wizards were coming off of a tough four-point overtime loss to another division leader in the Toronto Raptors, as that Charlotte loss may have been foreseeable in a classic sandwich spot.

The Hawks will have the Wizards’ full attention after Atlanta won the last meeting by 31 points 120-89 on January 11th.


Reversion to the Mean?
As tremendous a run as the Hawks have been on, the oddsmakers seem to have caught up to them, which almost always happens. You see the New Orleans loss leaves Atlanta officially 1-4 ATS in the last five games, but it could be an 0-5 ATS run depending on timing because while they covered the closing line of -5 in a 105-99 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, they opened up as seven-point favorites in that game and we personally cashed at +7.

Besides the betting line catching up to them, another reason for the ATS skid in the last five games is that the defense has been a bit more lax than it had been up to this point. You see, the Hawks are third in the NBA in points allowed at 96.5 per game while ranking fifth in field goal percentage allowed at 43.6 percent and seventh in three-point defense at 33.8 percent.

In those last five games however, the points allowed rise to 100.2 points on 45.9 percent shooting overall and a distressing 38.3 percent shooting from beyond the three-point arc, taking away the three-point advantage Atlanta has enjoyed over its opponents most of the season. Four of those last five foes scored 99 points or more, with the exception being the offensively challenged Philadelphia 76ers in a lackluster 91-85 win.


Still the Third Seeds in the East
It is easy to forget at this point that it was the Wizards that were generally considered the favorites to win the Southeast Division before this season began after LeBron James left the Miami Heat to return to Cleveland. After all, Washington finished second behind Miami last season and as the fifth seed in the entire Eastern Conference in its return to the playoffs after a long absence, and the Wizards finished six games ahead of these Hawks.

And for all of the Hawks’ dominance this season and the Washington’s current three-game skid, the Wizards are actually the three-seeds in the East right now despite being nine games behind Atlanta in the Southeast, as they are one game ahead of fourth seeded Chicago despite the Bulls leading the Central Division.

And do not expect Atlanta to score 120 points again like it did when these teams last met a few weeks ago, as the Wizards remain ninth in the NBA in points against at 98.0 per game and sixth in field goal percentage allowed at 43.9 percent. And while the Hawks are full of good players without one dominant superstar, a trait that could actually hurt them during crunch time in the playoffs, it is the Wizards that probably boast the best player on the court tonight in John Wall.


A Visitors Series
That Haws blowout here in Atlanta was a rarity in this head-to-head series as it was the road teams that has covered the previous four meetings, all of them as underdogs.

Look for a return to that pattern here with Washington covering the spread as a road underdog in Atlanta on Wednesday.

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NBA Pick: Wizards +5½ (-101)

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