Welcome to the Wednesday, Feb. 27 edition of the NBA Best Bets column. Here, I’ll strive to identify one NBA bet for tonight I feel has profit potential at DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, 888 Sportsbook, and BetStars Sportsbook.
Depending on the circumstance, I’ll hone in on moneylines, point spreads, or projected totals. Sometimes I may even touch on multiple metrics. Then, I’ll take you on a fairly deep dive as to why.
Please note we’ll be referencing only legal, regulated sportsbook betting odds and totals here at PlayPicks. A “pick” is a wager that, as of the time of this writing, we feel confident recommending. A “lean” is a wager we favor over the other side. This play could end up on our card with the release of additional information.
Season to Date:
ATS Leans/Picks: 44-31-1 (.587)
Moneyline: 25-8 (.758)
Over/Under: 17-11-1 (.607)
2/27/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Washington Wizards (24-36) vs. Brooklyn Nets (32-30)
The Nets continue to weave one of the more remarkable stories of this NBA season, coming back from multiple seasons in the league basement. Brooklyn appears to be back on an upswing at the moment, too, as they’ll come into Wednesday’s game having notched two straight wins and three in their last four. The Nets have been particularly effective on their home floor of Barclays Center; they’ve played 18 of their 32 wins there.
Brooklyn’s home metrics underscore their effectiveness there. The Nets are now averaging 114.0 points per Barclays contest, the 12th-highest home figure in the NBA. Brooklyn also sports a 35.9 percent success rate from three-point range at home. That’s the ninth-highest in the league. It also dovetails particularly well with the fact the Wizards have been the worst team in the NBA defending long-distance shots (40.0 percent) when traveling. Brooklyn is very capable of exploiting that weakness, considering the success of Joe Harris (50.0 percent three-point shooting at home) and Allen Crabbe (38.6 percent three-point shooting at home).
The Nets have also enjoyed success in two of their previous three meetings with the Wizards. Brooklyn notched a 115-104 road win at Capital One Arena in the first game between the teams Nov. 16. They also managed a 125-118 victory at Barclays the most recent time the teams met Dec. 18, a game in which they took a 16-point lead into the fourth quarter. And while Washington did manage a 102-88 win in the nation’s capital in the middle game of the season series, it’s worth noting that three players that will be unavailable Wednesday — John Wall, Otto Porter, Jr., and Markieff Morris — played key roles in that victory.
Wall, who is out for the season with an Achilles injury, led the Wizards with 30 points in that contest. Porter, who’s since been traded to the Chicago Bulls, took only seven shot attempts but pulled down 11 rebounds. And Morris, who’s now in Oklahoma City, was the third-leading scorer in that game with 20 points. Then, another important former part of the Wizards rotation, Kelly Oubre, Jr., is now in Phoenix. Oubre has shot an impressive 51.9 percent versus Brooklyn in four total games this season.
For their part, the Wizards are floundering once again in the wake of that mass talent exodus. They’ve lost four straight games and seven of their last nine. The Wizards also appear to be in even direr straits of late. Washington has allowed 119 points or more in eight of the last nine contests. That sample includes seven tallies of more than 120 points and three of greater than 130.
Washington’s biggest problems have unsurprisingly come on the road. The Wizards have allowed the most points (119.2) of any team when traveling. The 49.1 percent shooting they’re yielding on the road is just a tenth of a percentage point behind the Cavaliers for the highest shooting percentage allowed in that category. And, as mentioned earlier, no team has allowed a higher percentage of three-point attempts to find the net when traveling than Washington.
By The Numbers
The Wizards are 26-34 (43.3 percent) against the spread overall this season. That includes a 9-22 mark (NBA-low 29.0 percent) as a road team and a 6-16 tally (NBA-low 27.3 percent) as road underdogs. The Wizards are also 3-8 (27.3 percent) against the number on games they’ve played on two or three days of rest and 14-21 (40.0 percent) versus the spread in games following a loss. Finally, the Wizards are 19-23 (45.2 percent) against the number in conference games and have lost 17 of their 24 road games overall.
The Nets are 35-27 (56.5 percent) against the spread overall this season. That includes a 7-7 mark (50.0 percent) versus the numbers as home favorites. Brooklyn is also 22-16 (57.9 percent) against the spread when playing on one day of rest and 19-12 (61.3 percent) versus the number in games following a win. Finally, the Nets are 22-17 (56.4 percent) against the spread in conference games.
The Final Word
There was a point when the Wizards looked like they might be righting the ship, but a year-ending injury to Wall and continued poor play on the defensive end derailed any chances of salvaging the season. While it’s only late February, it might be fair to say Washington is in “playing-out-the-string” mode already. Meanwhile, the Nets are the talk of their town and fighting for a postseason berth. Plus, they have been stellar versus the spread overall. As such, I see them covering a manageable number on their home court.
The Pick: Nets -5, Nets moneyline