Portland Trail Blazers (25-26) at Washington Wizards (24-26)
Game Info: Friday, February 3, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. EST (Capital One Arena)
Betting Odds: Wizards (-4) / Over/Under (TBD)
Pick: Wizards (-4)
Let's get the weekend off right by taking a look at a pair of two teams who are trying to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot, when the Portland Trail Blazers head into D.C. to take on the Wizards.
Portland goes how Damian Lillard rolls. If he is delivering, the Trail Blazers are most likely winning games... but he is not, they are a completely different team. Thankfully for the Blazers, he is on fire of late, with 39.1 PTS, 7.9 AST, and shooting 40.5% from behind the arc in his last 11 games played. They have won 4 out of their last 5 games (covering in 3 of those games), and have managed to keep themselves right in the thick of things in the West. Their achilles heel has always been on the defensive end, and it hasn't let up this year where they rank 25th in defensive ranking. Even with the addition of Jerami Grant, they have still been underwhelming on defense, which has to be extremely frustrating for Head Coach Chauncey Billups. Coming off of an efficient 42 point performance on the road against the Grizzlies, can Lillard replicate that again as they continue on a short 3 game road trip?
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Washington is quietly one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now. They have won their last 6 games SU, and have covered ATS in all of those games as well. This stretch of games has allowed them to inch closer to the .500 mark and rise to the 9 seed in the East. During this win streak, Kyle Kuzma and Deni Avdija have truly benefited from playing off of Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis, which has allowed the Wizards to get reliable minutes from multiple pieces on their roster. In what should be an up-and-down type of game, the Wizards wings should be able to get easy buckets all night long against a porous Blazers defense. When it comes to the Wizards, they have ramped up the intensity on defense over the past several games, which is a big reason why they currently hold the biggest win streak in the NBA right now. If they can continue to get contributions from their secondary options, the Wizards could certainly continue to climb the standings as the season progresses.
A few betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- The Wizards are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games played
- Portland is 7-11 ATS in non-Conference games
- Washington is 13-9 ATS in non-Conference games
- The over has hit in 11 out of 13 games that the Wizards have played with a rest advantage over the opposing team
This game comes down to one thing for me... defense. When both teams are healthy, they both can put up points with the best of them in the league. On the flip side, the Blazers have not been able to stop anyone from putting the ball in the basket in years. Factor in that the Blazers just played a hard-fought battle on the road in Memphis, the fact that they are a bad squad away from home, and Jerami Grant & Jusuf Nurkic are game-time decisions here, I am all over the Wizards to get a big win at home to continue on their win streak.
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