Free Picks: Washington Wizards vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Wizards vs Lakers NBA week 19
Washington Wizards vs. Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Capital One Arena

On a night when the hottest team in the NBA, the New York Knicks, snapped their streak, the second-hottest team, the Washington Wizards, did the same when they had an eight-game winning streak ended in a thrilling 146-143 overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs. The Wizards will be looking to start a new string of victories as they continue to fight for their spot in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament.

Wizards Look To Hop Back In Win Column Against Recovering Lakers (Season Betting Record: 88-94)

Unfortunately for them, they have to play host to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night as they attempt to get that winning streak magic back. A week ago, it would’ve been a good thing to get the Lakers in a get right situation, but now that Anthony Davis is back, it’s not quite the same proposition.

Davis returned to the court for the first time in nine weeks last Thursday in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks. The rust was glaringly obvious in his offensive game, as the Brow went 2-for-10 from the field for four points in just 16 minutes of limited action.

In his next game, also against Dallas, he improved slightly, going 5-for-19 from the field but also hitting 7-of-8 free throws, which shows more of a willingness to take contact when driving to the hoop compared with his 0-for-2 free throw performance from the first game of his return. Los Angeles’ most recent outing is when the Brow began his return to All-NBA form.

Davis came out and played 31 big minutes in a double-digit win over the Orlando Magic, showing no ill effects as he went 8-for-15 from the field for 18 points to go with eight boards, three dimes, and a pair of swats. It definitely felt like the Brow was, in fact, back.

All three of those games were played with a rest day between them, and the same goes for this meeting with the Wizards, so we’d expect a full allotment of minutes for Davis on Wednesday night somewhere in the range of 30-35. He has improved his scoring output and field goal percentage in all three of his appearances since his return, and there’s no reason to think that won’t continue at Capital One Arena in D.C.

The Lakers have gone 10-2 straight up during this campaign when Davis scores 20+ points, so if the Brow does continue his upwards trajectory, that bodes very well for the Lakers considering he scored 18 points in his last outing. Davis has also been a part of a lot of Lakers success against Eastern Conference teams this season, with the Lakers winning seven of eight games against the lesser of the NBA’s two conferences when Davis is in the lineup.

Alex Len? Robin Lopez? Rui Hachimura? The Brow laughs at those matchups. Barbecue chicken, as Shaquille O’Neal likes to say. Washington simply does not have the manpower to stop L.A.’s best player, which either means they’re going to let the Brow do what he does—which is not a recipe for success for the Wiz as stated above—or help off of L.A.’s supporting cast, which has started to gel very nicely of late.

When it comes to teams playing on the road as favorites, the Lakers have pretty much been the best of the best this season. L.A. has gone 11-7-1 ATS as the away squad coming into another team’s house as the favorite, and have not lost a spread play in their last four from that position .

The Lakers just love to be on the road, they’re like the Jack Kerouac of the NBA this season, putting up a 19-12 away record that is second only to the Phoenix Suns. Lakers road dominance and AD’s resurgence have us convinced that the Lakers are one of the top picks on Wednesday night. We’re going with L.A.’s -2.5 point spread at solid -118 NBA odds as our favorite NBA pick for this clash.

Stats

  • Los Angeles is 11-7-1 ATS as the road favorite this season
  • Washington is 6-7 ATS in their last 13 games following a loss
  • Los Angeles is 10-2 SU when Anthony Davis scores 20+ points this season
  • Los Angeles is 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games as the favorite

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Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve. Follow Alex on Twitter

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