March 25th 2013 - Posted 5:25 PM Eastern Time

EDIT (6:30 PM): News broke out at 6 PM (only one hour before the game) that Nene is out for Washington and is unlikely to feature in this game. That's a big reason the line has now moved all the way up to +5 even now in some cases all the way from +3 which is what we got it at.

Obviously with Nene out, we are less confident in this pick but we still believe Washington can have a good night for all of the aforementioned reasons and possibly even win this game outright.

Since we have already released this pick as a 4-unit play and have placed our own wagers, we won't change the official 'grading'. But obviously, those who placed the bets later than we did have benefited by placing this bet at a better line (like +4 , +4.5 and even +5 now in some places like 5dimes)

We are risking 4% of our bankroll on Washington tonight as we see plenty of reasons to back them. These facts and figures don't necessarily mean this will be a winning bet as there is no such thing as 'guaranteed' or 'lock' in this world, let alone in the world of gambling where anything can happen but the essay-like rationale that follows does showcase why we feel they are likely to succeed tonight.

Take Washington Wizards at +3 spread against Memphis Grizzlies risking 4 Units (7:05 PM)

At first glance you have a 44-22 Memphis Grizzlies team matching up against a 25-44 Washington Wizards team and looking at just the records alone it would appear that Memphis is the overall better team and that is correct. However the outcome of a single basketball game often has little to do with overall records and more to do with particular situations on that given day/night. Once both teams are on the court and the ball is tipped in the air, it is an even playing field to start out.

Much like the Houston vs San Antonio game last night, we have a line that is suspiciously low given both the disparity in the overall records as well as the recent success that one team has had over another. Memphis was able to capture an 85-76 win against the Wizards back on February 1st in Memphis but this game is being played in Washington and I believe that is going to be a big factor in today's game. Grizzlies' big man Marc Gasol is going to be out for tonight's game and that is really going to hurt the inside presence of Memphis as Gasol has been absolutely dominant recently!

Gasol accounts for an average of 15 points per game, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Those kind of number will be sorely missed, especially on the road where Memphis have had their struggles. Washington has some young and explosive players like John Wall who can penetrate into the lane and push the basketball to the hoop. Without Gasol in the middle to clog up the lane, it could provide an opening for Washington to consistently get to the rim. The loss of Gasol is also going to hurt the Grizzlies rebounding game. The Wizards are not an elite rebounding team to begin with but without their 7 foot star giant, that should give Washington more of an opportunity. The last time these two teams met, Gasol was able to bring down 15 rebounds in a game and that was a decisive factor.

I'm not basing this entire pick on the absence of Gasol as the loss of one player should never make or break a certain team but it certainly does weaken this Grizzlies team. Washington just so happens to be a tough place to play especially for a team like Memphis who relies mostly on their lock-down defense and not an explosive offensive game. The Grizzlies are only averaging 91 points a game against a Wizards team who have won 5 of their last 7 games and are scoring 101 points per game in the process. Washington has won 5 of their last 6 home games and lost only 4 out of their last 19 in the capital!

Memphis, for as good of a team as they are have struggled on the road lately. They have lost their last 3 road games and have failed to score 85 points in each. The Gizzlies are also just 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games. The road is going to be too much today for a team missing its arguably most important player against a team that plays very well at home. I believe Washington pulls the upset today and gets revenge on the Grizzlies. Take the points.

A few other reasons we believe The Wizards are likely to be a winning bet tonight:

- Washington is 20-8-1 ATS in their last 29 home games!

- Washington is 34-18 ATS in the underdog role this season and thrives under it!

- Washington is 22-10 ATS when playing against teams with winning records.

- Washington is 21-7 ATS in non-conference games!

- The home team is 9-3-1 ATS in the last 13 meetings between these two teams.


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