Washington Wizards at Detroit Pistons -7.5
I know. This game feels like an enormous letdown after covering the Heat v. Thunder game yesterday and after the ESPN doubleheader concluded with a great game between the Lakers and Clippers (won by the Lakers, giving them a two-game swing in their pursuit of holding onto the Pacific division lead and #3 seed in the Western Conference). I agree. There is nothing real sexy about Wizards against the Pistons; heck I wouldn’t even blame you if you refused to watch it! However, my goal is not to provide you with a virtual remote control to be entertained, it is to help you win as many wagers as possible. Sometimes the best opportunities for profit don’t coincide with great television. That is an apt description for tonight.
So let’s dig into tonight’s contest.
Washington shedded a lot of talent at the trade deadline, but also ridded themselves of some troublesome personalities in an attempt to reboot the team chemistry and build a better mix of players around John Wall. Wall has regressed slightly in his second season, but remains one of the most physically gifted point guards in the league.
Despite their lousy record, the Pistons have actually been a pretty decent road team, posting a 14-12 record. They’ve been playing good basketball overall recently too, going 4-1 over their last five games with three wins coming on the road, including one at Washington last week. The Wizards on the other hand appear to be checked out and finished for the season. They’ve lost eight of nine, four of them by double digits despite playing only two playoff teams over that stretch.
Washington is also one of the worst teams in the league against the spread, going 20-33-1 this season. This means that not only have they been lousy and everyone knows it, they have managed to be even worse than most of us already knew they are! If you follow that, it tells you that they possess an incredible capability to lose even worse than Vegas was expecting them to lose. That makes tonight’s seven and a half point line seem more tolerable to lay on the Pistons at home than it appeared at first blush. It feels a little counter-intuitive to lay that many points on a team 13 games below .500, but all the numbers and trends indicate it is a good play.
Washington is just 2-7 in their last nine games ATS. I expect them to make it 2-8 after tonight.
Free Pick: Detroit Pistons -7.5