Wizards vs Suns – NBA Pick for December 7th
The Memphis Grizzlies did not pan out against the New York Knicks on Wednesday night, which snapped a nice four-game winning streak I had going.
My NBA picks are still looking strong on the year, however, as I march into a quiet four-game slate at 26-11-2 on the season.
Thursday night’s slate is admittedly small and short on betting value, but there is still some money to be made tonight. The best overall game to target figures to be a showdown in Phoenix, where the battered Suns prepare to host the Washington Wizards.
The Wiz will come in with some confidence, as Bradley Beal is fresh off of an insane 51-point outing that helped Washington topple the Blazers in Portland. The Suns won’t feel quite as good, as star scorer Devin Booker won’t be on hand due to a groin injury:
Booker has a left groin strain and the projected recover time is 2-3 weeks according to Suns GM Ryan McDonough.
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) December 6, 2017
This is a big blow for the Suns, who haven’t been a reliable team in betting circles this year to begin with. Now Phoenix has to figure out how to score without their best player who was putting up over 24 points per game.
The early edge resides with the Wiz, who enter this matchup with a palatable -7 point spread at 5Dimes. Should bettors back them at that spread, side with the Suns or target the Total? Let’s break this game down to find out:
Losing Booker is a huge blow for the Suns, who have not been a reliable target for bettors. Phoenix plays host, but they’re just 9-17 on the year and 4-9 on their home floor.
The Suns have been better than many would expect against the spread (12-13-1), but they haven’t gone to work without their best player. That could make things difficult against the Wizards, who have gone 13-11 against the spread this year and have been an impressive 9-4 ATS while on the road.
On paper, this matchup favors the Wiz all the way. Phoenix ranks dead last in terms of defensive efficiency and their erratic (but explosive) offense is without its driving force. Both teams like to push the pace, but the Wiz actually have some defensive bite (11th).
Marcin Gortat and a collection of Tyson Chandler/Greg Monroe probably cancel each other out, but there is going to be way too much scoring pressure on T.J. Warren.
Point guards Tyler Ulis and Mike James will be tasked with running the offense more, too, while little-used shooting guard Troy Daniels could be forced into action. Suffice to say, the Suns see a talent drop and will be looking for answers on the offensive end.
While the Suns should be knocked for not having Booker, Washington is also playing without superstar point guard, John Wall. The team has gone just 3-3 while he’s been sidelined and some could argue that evens things out.
I don’t really buy that, as Bradley Beal still gives the Wizards a true star to lean on. That isn’t something the Suns have now, while this team almost failed to beat a thick +13.5 spread in Toronto earlier this week.
If the Suns get off to a hot start there’s a chance they hang in this game and push for the Over, but they often start games slow and rely heavily on Booker.
At least in their first game without their star, I’m expecting Phoenix to struggle. I’m not sure that results in a blowout considering Washington has their own issues, but I do love the Wiz to win and cover.
In the end, a -7 point spread isn’t that gaudy when you look at the talent gap and the hit Phoenix has to absorb offensively. Washington has better role players with Otto Porter and Markieff Morris providing help, while Morris may look to dish out some revenge against his former team.
Collectively, this feels like a great spot for the Wiz, who are still trying to hold onto their spot atop the Southeast Division. Getting the job done in Phoenix tonight allows them to push even further ahead of the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic.