Wizards to Pull Mild Upset on the Bayou is Your NBA Pick

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, December 11, 2015 7:36 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 11, 2015 7:36 PM UTC

The Washington Wizards have been disappointing for the most part this season at 9-11, but they actually have a winning road record, which could continue down in New Orleans Friday.

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NBA Pick: Wizards +3
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


The road underdog appears to have value in a matchup of underachieving teams Friday night when those Washington Wizards (9-11, 9-11ATS) head down to the Bayou to pay a visit to the New Orleans Pelicans (5-16, 7-14 ATS) at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA at 8:05 ET in a game available on Comcast SportsNet - Mid-Atlantic.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Washington as a very small road underdog for this contest with the current line at +2½ with odds of -102.


Both Teams Disappointing
Both of these teams have disappointed this year after each made the NBA Playoffs last season. The Wizards returned to the post-season the last two years after a prolonged absence and they even won a series each season, but they are currently bringing up the rear in the Southeast Division at 9-11 after most recently losing at home to the equally struggling Houston Rockets 109-103 as four-point favorites.

Speaking of bringing up the rear, the Pelicans are doing the same in the Southwest Division, where going 5-16 as NBA picks leaves them with the third worst record in the NBA behind the 1-22 Philadelphia 76ers and the 3-19 Los Angeles Lakers. Granted, New Orleans finished last in the Southwest last season also but their 45-37 record was still good enough to snare the eight-seed in the Western Conference, allowing all five teams from the division to make the playoffs.


Wizards Better on the Road?
Perhaps leaving Washington is just what the Wizards need to clear there minds, as they are 4-7 straight up at their home in the Verizon Center and yet are over .500 at 5-4 straight up (4-5 ATS) on the road! Washington’s recent play does not show signs of breaking the pattern either, as within their last six games, the Wizards have lost at home to the Rockets, Lakers (Yikes) and Mavericks and yet have beaten the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat on the road.

This road assignment actually seems much easier than the last two road conquests over LeBron James’s current team and former team and we see no reason why the Wizards’ road success cannot continue here. It helps that center Marcin Gortat returned Wednesday from a three-game absence while attending to a family matter and promptly contributed 18 points and 13 rebounds, and All-Star John Wall stayed hot with his 26 points and 12 assists.

The Wizards still have one of the more potent backcourts in the NBA in Wall (19.6 points per game) and Bradley Beal (19.8), and that Dynamic Duo should dominate offensively in this game vs. a New Orleans backcourt that is not exactly renowned for its defense.


Defense? What Defense?
In fact, outside of one of the premier defenders in the league in Anthony Davis, the rest of the Pelicans have played practically no defense whatsoever as the Pels are ranked dead last in the NBA in points against at a hideous 109.1 per game, as well as dead last in three-point defense at 39.3 percent and 28th in field goal percentage allowed overall at 46.4 percent. Is it any wonder then that New Orleans has been one of the biggest money-burners in the league at 7-14 ATS?

Granted the Pelicans were beset with injuries earlier in the year, but the team is the healthiest that it has been all season right now and even center Kendrick Perkins is expected back from his pectoral sprain for this contest. And yet the Pels are still 1-5 both straight up and ATS over the last six games and, furthermore, the defense has now allowed a minimum of 101 points in eight consecutive games, allowing an unsightly average of 110.3 points during this span.


Washington Loves to Visit
Finally, the Wizards have thoroughly enjoyed their visits to New Orleans in recent years as they are a perfect 8-0 ATS in the last eight head-to-head meetings in this arena! In fact, this has been a visitors’ series either way from a betting standpoint with the road teams going 13-3 ATS in the last 16 meetings.

Look for that road dominance to continue and for Washington to runs its ATS winning streak in New Orleans to nine straight games with the Wizards pulling off the mild straight up upset down on the Bayou on Friday.

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