Wizards vs Thunder – NBA Picks for January 25th

by Kevin Roberts
on January 25, 2018
All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from Bovada at 10:15 am CT on 1/25/2018. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

I backed the Toronto Raptors on a loaded 9-game NBA betting slate on Wednesday night and they paid off. Toronto tends to be a dicey play on the road, but they handled the Atlanta Hawks with ease and converted my -6 ATS pick.

It wasn’t that shocking, seeing as the Raptors are the vastly superior team and were already up 2-0 in the season series. The win upped my season NBA picks mark to a strong 43-28-2 record.

Last night was actually incredibly chalky, as most of the favorites won and did so with relative ease. That should have helped you profit across the board, but fortunately, if you used my pick you got solid value (-110) back.

The hope is to keep the value coming on Thursday, although that could be made a little more difficult thanks to a smaller 4-game slate. That’s even tougher than you’d think at first glance, too, with two of the games on the schedule carrying a -10 spread or worse.

That takes me to Oklahoma City, where the Thunder will be hosting the Washington Wizards. Truth be told, this is a maddening game to consider targeting, as the Wiz and Thunder have both burned bettors a lot this year.

Their inability to produce on a regular basis can be seen easily in their ATS numbers. Washington is a paltry 20-27 against the spread on the year, while OKC is just 19-28.

Part of this has to do with steep spreads these teams have to deal with, but they also just seem to play down to their level of competition too often. That’s pretty evident based on their ATS data when favored.

In this case, OKC’s terrible 15-27 mark when favored (9-14 at home) is quite troubling.

If you combine that with Washington’s surprisingly elite ATS data as road underdogs (12-4!) it’s possible you already have your pick.

Washington Wizards (+5.5)
Oklahoma City Thunder (-5.5)
Total: 213.5

There are two things I feel like I truly know going into this matchup; both of these teams can be tough to peg and Paul George will be out for blood after his All-Star snub.

While he was disrespected by not getting voted in this year, he did get the backing of teammate Russell Westbrook. That’s suggested a long-term pairing of the two in OKC, but in the interim, it could have Westbrook and co. rallying around their teammate.

That’s the key storyline here, but I’m not so sure it means the Thunder will just come out and wreck. John Wall gives Russell Westbrook a worthy adversary across from him in this one, while OKC will also have to worry about outside threats like Bradley Beal and Otto Porter.

The Thunder have the defensive edge in theory, but Washington has proven they can compete on the road and they have the offensive pieces to give the Thunder a real challenge. Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi even provide muscle down low, which means Steven Adams could have his work cut out for him inside.

Overall, at least on paper, the Wiz have an answer for virtually everything the Thunder can throw at them.

Oklahoma City still has the star power and presently, they also have the momentum. The Thunder are in top form, having won 5 in a row and 7 of their last 10. I think you need to take note of how this team is coming together and the fact that Westbrook backed PG-13 so publicly is just another example of how OKC refuses to cave to whispers that this roster should be blown up.

The Thunder are heading in the right direction at precisely the right time and are suddenly just 2.5 games back out of first place in the Northwest Division.

All of this has me liking OKC as a straight-up pick, but their ATS data is still too troubling. The season numbers favor Washington across the board and in their last game they barely beat the Brooklyn Nets.

I like the Thunder to get a 6th straight win, but this is a tough game that will be airing on TNT. I expect an elite point guard showdown to live up to the hype and this game, in general, to be tight until the end.

Shoot for the Over and bet on the Thunder to win if you want, but the best overall betting angle is the Wizards to beat this +5.5 spread at Bovada.

Pick: Washington Wizards (+5.5)
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