Denver Nuggets (39-33) at Washington Wizards (40-31)
We took a bad beat last night when we backed the Los Angeles Lakers on the road against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Lakers led the entire second half and were leading 125-124 with less than two minutes left in the game. We were getting three points, and it looked like the Lakers were going to win this one outright. The last couple of minutes didn’t go our way, and when Anthony Davis hit both of his free throws with just five seconds left on the clock, we lost our cover. We still managed to earn a push out of the game, as it ended 128-125, but this felt like it should have been a winner. What can you do, we have picked close to 90% winners over the last three weeks, so I guess if our bad beats are still pushes and not losers, then we are still running pretty good. Tonight, we will head to the nation’s capital as the Washington Wizards host the Denver Nuggets.
The Denver Nuggets head to Washington D.C. Friday night to face the Wizards in a game both teams badly want to win. The Nuggets struggles on the road have been well documented, and they are in the midst of a brutal road trip that has seen them drop from the seven seed in the Western Conference to the nine seed. Denver must figure out a way to win on the road if they want to sneak into the playoffs this year. The Wizards have also been sliding down the standings as they have fallen from as high as the three seed in the Eastern Conference to now residing in the six slot. The Wizards are -1.5-point home favorites. The game total over-under is set at 218.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:00 PM PST from Capital One Arena.
If you read my daily picks a lot, you know exactly how I feel about the Denver Nuggets on the road this year. If you don’t read my picks, I can get you caught up. They stink. This Nugget’s team is amongst the worst road teams in the NBA. And are by far the worst road team with a winning record this year. The fact that they have been able to win at such a high rate at home has skewed the public into thinking this is a good overall team. It isn’t.
The Nuggets just don’t win on the road. Even against bad teams. Before they started this brutal stretch of scheduling that included eight out of nine straight games on the road, they were looked at as a potential playoff team in a very good western Conference. By some weird quirk in the schedule, the Nuggets had played the most home games of any team in the NBA. The lopsided schedule resulted in the Nuggets having a record that was inflated by the fact that they are a great home team. The schedule has come back to bite them during this stretch.
During this recent run of games, the Nuggets have played road games against really bad teams like the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Memphis Grizzlies and have lost to them all. They also lost to a decent Miami Heat team and managed to somehow beat a putrid Chicago Bulls team on the road in their last game. This Nuggets team will have to get its act together in a big way tonight if they want to beat a decent Wizards team.
The Washington Wizards played very well without superstar John wall for several weeks. So much so that some media outlets were convinced this might be a better team without Wall on the court. Well, that was complete nonsense, and the Wizards are clearly feeling Wall not being able to play over the last couple of weeks. The Wizards are struggling, and they are awaiting the return of Wall any day now. That return keeps getting bumped back though, and at this point, the Wizards would be content just getting him back for the playoffs.
Look, I am not betting on the Wizards tonight. They are banged up and not playing all that well right now. I am very clearly betting against the Denver Nuggets. Not only are they a terrible road team, but they will also be without their leading scorer, Gary Harris. Getting the opportunity to bet against a bad team, that will be without its best player, playing against a good team at home, and I only have to lay a point and a half? This feels like free money, and I have a suspicion the hot streak will continue tonight. Give me the Washington Wizards -1.5-points tonight on their home floor!