We dropped our pick last night with the Atlanta Hawks putting out one of the poorer offensive efforts of the season, scoring just 76 points and turning the ball over 21 times in a 79-76 home loss to the Mike Conley-less Grizzlies. We need a win tonight to finish with another winning NBA week, so let’s grab the best play on the board.
But first, a tip of the cap to the Utah Jazz who knocked off the defending champs last night at home. The 0-12 start is a distant memory at this point, but it will serve them well by helping Utah get into the Lottery where they can dream of that one missing piece to putting together a legitimate Playoff team. The loss puts Miami a full four games behind the Pacers with just 30 to play. It’s looking more and more like the Champs are going to have to go on the road if they want to bring home a rare three-peat.
Today’s Free Picks:
Sacramento Kings at Washington Wizards -5
The Kings are a very seductive team; they notch just enough high-profile glamour wins to keep you believing that their talented young core is emerging into a legitimate team and then suddenly drop the kind of road stink bomb that reminds you they are actually at the bottom of the Western Conference standings for a reason.
Tonight feel like another one of those perfect set-ups. Sacramento is fresh off a pair of impressive home wins over Chicago and Toronto, but appropriately followed it up with an uninspired performance at Boston. Tonight, they stay out East and face an even better team, the Washington Wizards. The Kings are just 6-17 this season away from home and have looked pretty lousy in many of their stops. However, the Wizards are equally mercurial and prone to lousy home efforts against sub-.500 teams.
Washington continues to dance just above and below the .500 mark, following up an impressive pair of wins over Oklahoma City and Portland with a pair of losses to the Spurs (in OT) and an inexcusable home loss to Cleveland 115-113. They are an appropriate 5-5 over their last ten games, and have been somewhat as fickle a play as the Kings over the past few months. They have some tantalizing young talent – but with that comes the occasional no-show effort.
Perhaps they got that one out of their system with the Cleveland game, and could care of business at home tonight. But they fact that they are 0-8 ATS in their last eight home games against sub-.500 teams worries me a bit. Enough that I’m not willing to lay five points to back them tonight. I’ll take the Kings with the points, and wouldn’t be surprised if they snuck out a rare road win tonight. They match up well with the guard-centric Wizards. Expect Boogie to have a big night inside and continue to use the All-Star snub as fuel.