The Denver Nuggets did not meet my expectations on Monday night, as they hardly showed up in a blowout loss to the Dallas Mavericks. The Nuggets were down two key players, but had won their previous two games and were facing a bad Dallas squad.
Needless to say, I was disappointed with the result, as Denver handed me my second straight loss. I’m still above .500 on the year (9-7) with my NBA picks, but that was a tough pill to swallow and now I’m greeted with a weak three-game Tuesday slate.
The options are limited tonight, as all three games have -5.5 point spreads or worse. There isn’t a whole lot of value here, so it’s possible I might toss value aside and just try to get a win. I think my best chance of making that happen resides in Portland, where the Trail Blazers prepare to take on the Washington Wizards.
Washington Wizards (+5.5) @ Portland Trail Blazers (-5.5) Total: 204
The only other bet I’m really considering is the Toronto Raptors to cover against the Phoenix Suns, but a -13.5 spread is a bit too gaudy for a team not named the Golden State Warriors. I’m sure the Raptors win and probably still win easily, but I can see bettors getting burned by that spread.
The only spread that makes sense is the one in Portland, as bettors can get a decent one at -5.5 at BetOnline in favor of the Blazers. The Wizards aren’t a horrible take in this matchup, either, but they remain without John Wall and have been slumping lately with a 4-6 run over their last 10 games.
Not having Wall is huge and it’s put added pressure on Bradley Beal. He hasn’t responded well, as the star shooting guard has scored more than 11 points just twice in the five games Wall has missed. Beal is clearly not adapting to the extra defensive focus and that won’t ease off in Portland against the league’s 4th best defense in terms of efficiency.
Washington still poses a threat, as they have a number of players who can put the ball in the hoop. There is always a chance Beal finally gets it going, while Otto Porter, Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat are all threats at that end of the court.
While Washington shouldn’t be taken lightly here, they aren’t trending in the right direction without Wall and have specifically gone 2-3 without their star point guard. I’m not sure I love their chances to stage the upset here, both because they’re a middling 6-6 on the road this year and because Portland tends to take care of business on their home floor.
The Blazers have burned me a bit this year, but I generally like them at home and when they get a struggling team without their best player, I’m pretty easily sold. I still think the Wiz are a threat to beat this spread, as the first meeting (Portland won, 108-105) was tight and Washington has largely remained competitive even with Wall on the shelf.
This isn’t the best NBA betting slate for value. Some of these teams are tough to trust and the spreads are dicey. I’m just looking for a win and the hope would be that Portland can yield a little more value if you do some line shopping.
For now, I’ll ignore the weak price and just get a win tonight. This Money Line isn’t awesome, but it also could be a lot worse considering the Blazers are favored at home and won’t be facing Wall.