Without Beal the Wizards have been playing their worst basketball of the year. The odds makers have made Washington a -3.5 favorite but we like Detroit in this spot tonight.
I imagine that will be the mantra for both teams. Detroit lost in double OT to the Knicks, while the Wizards lost to the Sixers, yikes on both accounts. Off back to back games in the past two months both teams are 3-4. The main difference is overall more recent play. While Detroit is 5-5 in February the Wizards have gone 2-9 losing their last six games in a row. Washington I am sure will make every effort to forget about what has happened to them recently, but Detroit is not anyone’s doormat anymore and will come in with a lot of confidence.
No Beal no problem…right?
Wrong. Washington has been playing horribly without him. Actually though since the beginning of January they have not played well period going 11-17 as of January 1st. In February they are shooting the poorest they have all year at 44% and a really bad 30% beyond the arc. Except rebounds all other offensive categories are at their worst of the season, and turnovers are up. Even though their rebounds are about average for this month their PAR (Points, Assists, Rebounds) average is way down to 162 compared to the rest of the season at 168. Points are probably the most troubling part as they are down to a 93.4 average this month, well below their 99 point average.
This where we really have to think about the number the odds makers put out. How can the Wizards be favored after Detroit won handedly in the last matchup just last week? It makes sense, and beating an NBA team twice in a row is no easy task. I think the sports books HAVE TO make Washington the favorite on this premise alone. The issue is though that it is just a premise. We have a team that is on a losing streak, looking at revenge, coming home after a bad loss (actually the line was up before the end of the Philly game), so of course they will be extra fired up, right? Well, yes and no. It is not necessarily a recipe for an automatic win, in the last two months the Wizards have had this kind of revenge situation and they have gone 1-2 (beating Brooklyn and losing to OKC and Toronto).
Detroit better let the 3’s fly
Since the Josh Smith trade Detroit has been a completely different monster, even with the most recent trade for Jackson. After the Smith trade they have lost three in row just once, they know they can beat the Wizards and I don’t think they are too pleased about losing to the Knicks, so they will have some extra fire as well. In their last five games the Wizards have allowed teams an average of over 40% beyond the arc, granted two of those teams were the Cavs and the Warriors. Still, the Pistons have averaged a 40% clip at that distance against Washington in their two games this year.
We can understand why the NBA odds makers would favor the Wizards in this spot. Their overall record and trying to get out of this recent funk at home will be very motivating. We think the value lies with the Pistons though and we suggest you add them to your NBA picks card.
Free NBA Pick: Detroit plus money line