April 19, 2017
There is one pick tonight.
Take Washington Wizards -5 spread against Atlanta Hawks for 3% of the bankroll.
In Game 1, the Washington Wizards went into halftime trailing by three points but responded in a big way in the second half where they poured in 69 second half points to come away with the 114-107 victory. What is most telling about that victory was that the Wizards managed to score 114 points and have six players score in double figures despite missing 20 of 28 three-point attempts which clearly shows Atlanta's struggles on the defensive side of the ball.
Playing in DC has been tough of the opposition this season as the Wizards have been one of the best home teams in the league with a 31-11 record. They have also been extremely profitable for their backers, no matter the spread, as they have gone an impressive 24-18 ATS at home this season. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks have been a team who has struggled on the road over the last month, having lost 8 of their last 10 games on the highway.
The Wizards simply overmatched the Hawks offensively and were able to neutralize Dwight Howard on the inside, holding the big man to just 7 points. Markieff Morris did a stellar job of boxing out Howard and cleaning up the glass and we expect a similar game plan from Scott Brooks in this contest. While the Wizards likely won't be able to completely neutralize Howard again in this contest, they should be able to once again match his efforts in the post.
An area where the Wizards did struggle and a big reason the Hawks were in the game in the first place was their ability to get to the free-throw line. The Wizards sent the Hawks’ players to the charity stripe 39 times in that contest in which the Hawks converted on 32 attempts! A third of the Hawks points in Game 1 came from the charity stripe, if it had not been for the overwhelming number of free-throws, the Hawks could have likely lost this contest by a much larger margin. Atlanta has been getting to the line an average of 25 times per contest this season so their 39 trips in Game 1 is likely more than an anomaly than what we should expect to see in Game 2.
Despite scoring 114 points, the Wizard weren't incredibly efficient with scoring the basketball, going just 45-100 from the field. That being said, The Wizards took 22 more shots than the Hawks and also owned a 25-16 margin in fast break points which clearly shows Atlanta's struggles on the defensive side of the basketball. We don't believe Mike Budenholzer's team will be able to make the necessary adjustments in order to contain this Washington offense, they simply have too many options to cover. The Hawks could potentially have a better showing and make this a series once the venue shifts to Atlanta, however in DC, we believe they'll suffer a similar fate as in Game 1 with the Wizards coming away with the win and cover.
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