Cavaliers vs Wizards – NBA Pick for December 17th

by Kevin Roberts
on December 17, 2017

All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from BetOnline at 9:40 pm CT on 12/16/2017. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

The San Antonio Spurs couldn’t hang with the Houston Rockets in my last pick, which dropped my season NBA picks record to a still sizzling 30-15-2.

That was a tough loss, seeing as the Spurs did have Kawhi Leonard back (albeit in limited action) and couldn’t cover a nice +8 point spread. Houston was at home and has been arguably the best team in the league, of course, so it’s not that shocking.

Sunday gets me back in action with a super small 4-game NBA betting slate. There isn’t much to work with here, and with a Pistons/Magic game (-10) being hands off, bettors are probably down to just three options.

My favorite game to target resides in D.C., though, as John Wall leads his Washington Wizards up against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers:

Cleveland Cavaliers (-1.5)
Washington Wizards (+1.5)
Total: 213

This is an easy one for me at first glance, as the Cavs are in a really nice groove (won 4 straight) and boast a surprisingly strong 9-4 road record. Cleveland’s dominance is even more impressive if we look back to their recent 13-game winning streak, too.

The point here is the Cavs are playing fantastic basketball for the most part and will be facing a Wizards team that has been more of a middle of the road unit for much of the season. Part of that is due to stud point guard John Wall (knee) missing some time, but he’s back and ready to rock.

I certainly note Wall’s presence, as well as the fact that Washington hates Cleveland and gets this one at home.

The Wiz will want to do several things here; protect their home court (8-5 there on the year), get some revenge for a 130-122 loss earlier this year and also prove to the rest of the Eastern Conference they’re a legit threat to the Cavs.

The only problem is, I’m not so sure they are. Washington has loads of upside, but they’re incredibly inconsistent for a unit that should be a top-three team in this conference.

It’s true bettors are getting some value with Washington as the home underdog, but I can’t help but marvel at the value with the Cavs, too. Cleveland is rarely brought down this far and the fact that this line is so tight offers some really nice upside.

I don’t need the Money Line to bite, though. This -1.5 spread makes this a virtual pick’em and Cleveland’s recent form and overall talent tells me they’re the right way to lean. Washington can be pesky and should make this a game, but the Cavs are playing better ball right now and will take pleasure getting this win.

Dwyane Wade will reportedly sit out for this game and that negatively impacts Cleveland’s bench, but that’s not going to get me off of them. That just means more work for Kyle Korver and Jeff Green on the bench, as well as expanded roles for key starters, LeBron James and Kevin Love.

The bigger injury would be to Otto Porter, who is dealing with a hip issue and is in danger of missing this game. He’s obviously a key shooter for the Wiz and also a helpful body to throw at King James defensively.

Not having Porter to Washington’s chances and might even damage the line bettors get here. I like the Cavs, regardless, so I’m hopping on this early and running with the value.

Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers (-1.5)

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