Wiz Go Back-to-Back on the Road in Portland

Jason Lake

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 12:50 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 12:50 PM UTC

The Washington Wizards look like a solid NBA pick in general, but they have to play Tuesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers after losing Monday in Utah.

Washington Wizards vs Portland Trail Blazers

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Free NBA Pick: UNDER 203
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

In theory, the Washington Wizards (12-11 SU and ATS) have all the earmarks of a solid NBA pick. But they got their posteriors handed to them Monday night, losing 116-69 to the Utah Jazz as 4-point road dogs. Rudy Gobert wound up starting for the Jazz – so much for those tea leaves – but he didn’t show any signs of ring rust, and the Wizards shot just 28.8 percent from the field against Utah’s impressive defense.

While the Wiz will be happy to put Monday’s game in the circular file, it’s a very short turn-around before Tuesday night’s matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers (13-10 SU, 8-12-3 ATS), tipping off from the former Rose Garden at 10:00 p.m. Eastern on NBA-TV. The Trail Blazers have been idle since Saturday, and they’ve opened as 5.5-point favorites on the NBA odds board. Does Washington stand a chance in this game?

Wizards Need Rest, Badly

Any basketball player with two hands has a fighting chance. The Wizards are playing the second of back-to-back road games, and they won’t have John Wall (+3.1 BPM) for this one, but FiveThirtyEight gives D.C. a 31-percent chance of winning Tuesday night – that works out to +5 using their CARM-Elo kayfabe spreads. And ESPN’s Basketball Power Index has Washington prevailing 41.4 percent of the time, or +3 according to Wizard of Odds.

The Blazers have had their ups and downs this year, and they’re coming off consecutive losses at home to the Milwaukee Bucks (+4.5) and the New Orleans Pelicans (+7). But they’ve played well enough for a Pythagorean record of 14-9 (.628), matching Washington’s Pythagorean record after Monday’s result. And Portland is healthy for the most part. It’s a tough spot for the Wizards.

It’s also a tough spot for anyone who wants to bet on Tuesday’s game – but there’s an escape hatch. The UNDER is 16-7 for the Blazers this year; they rank No. 22 overall in offensive efficiency (102.9 points/100 possessions) and fourth overall in defensive efficiency (100.4). The total for this matchup is holding steady at 203 points as we go to press, with the early consensus split 50/50. We’ll go with the UNDER here, investing a small sum in Portland’s defense and the weary legs on the Wizards (UNDER 15-8).

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