Wizards vs Pelicans – NBA Pick for March 9th

by Kevin Roberts
on March 9, 2018
All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from Bovada at 9:20 am CT on 3/9/2018. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

The Boston Celtics made me look smart on Thursday, as they marched into Minnesota and easily dispatched the Timberwolves.

The Celtics were back to 100% with Kyrie Irving returning from a knee injury, while the T’Wolves felt like an easy target with Jimmy Butler (knee) on the shelf. Bettors even got stellar value (-130) with Boston as a straight up bet and the win got me a victory for the second time in my last three tries.

I’ll approach a jam-packed 10-game Friday night NBA betting slate with a 54-46-2 record. This is a very wide open slate at first glance, too, with every single game opening with a point spread at -9 or lower.

Injuries are impacting the decision-making process greatly and there is a big one that leads me to tonight’s pick. Anthony Davis (ankle) went down in his last game and is listed as doubtful for tonight’s home game with the Washington Wizards:

I know it’s tough to think about betting against the Pelicans right now (10 straight wins), but let’s consider a few things. First, this can’t be the same team without The Brow. He’s been on an insane tear during this winning streak and he’s by far their best player.

There is also the case that as good as New Orleans has been, they’ve also been getting lucky. During this 10-game run, the Pels have won four games by five or fewer points and have given up 101+ points to their opponents every single time.

On top of this, this winning streak can’t last forever. It certainly would make some sense for it to get snapped against a good team when The Brow is out.

If the Pels again are going to get into a shootout without their top player, I find it hard to believe they keep this insane streak going. Let’s cover all the bases and break this matchup down a little further to see what the best betting angle is, though:

Washington Wizards (-3.5)
New Orleans Pelicans (+3.5)
Total: 220

I actually want to make this post fairly short and sweet, as the line already moved on this thing due to Anthony Davis almost certainly sitting this one out.

The Pelicans are on a roll and at home, but without their best player, they feel like a poor bet to get an 11th straight win. It’s even tougher to imagine it against the Wizards, who also provide you with a dynamic offense that has kept it together despite not having John Wall on hand.

Both teams are down a star player, but don’t forget that New Orleans is the far worse defensive team and has also already been grinding out victories without DeMarcus Cousins. The initial edge goes to the Wiz, who opened up as a tempting -150 at Bovada, but that’s dropped to -160 if you like them as a straight up bet.

That’s where I’m going with this game, because Bovada and other basketball betting sites want the Wiz to cover with a four-point win. That might be too much to ask for a Pels team that is playing great ball and is known for forcing overtime and/or keeping games close.

New Orleans has a very nice 35-28-1 against the spread mark on the year and they’re also a solid 4-2 ATS when Vegas goes against them at home. All things considered, I’m expecting a very close game here and even without The Brow, I think the Pels keep this too close to feel overly confident in the spread.

All roads lead me back to the Wiz, who are a solid 6-4 over their last 10 games and know they need to keep getting wins with the Miami Heat breathing down their neck in the Southeast Division.

Bradley Beal leads a dynamic and explosive offense, while the Pels do still have Rajon Rondo, Jrue Holiday and Nikola Mirotic to rely on. I like this game to stay competitive and shoot for the Over, but I love the Wiz to end this crazy roll the Pels have been on.

Pick: Wizards

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