The end of the NBA regular season is a time where many of the game’s fans switch off. There’s only one playoff spot left to be decided (the West’s eighth seed) and even most of the battles for seeding don’t feel especially significant or are already over. Playoff bound teams are resting their top players and the 13 teams already eliminated from playoff contention are playing erratically somewhat down to disinterest.
However, for NBA betting fans the final three days of the regular season should be seen as an opportunity. An opportunity to take advantages of spreads that are not really that representative. Who is likely to be rested and which team has more motivation becomes a significant issue.
One interesting game on Monday night is the match-up between the Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets. The 7 1/2 point spread advantage for the Nets would actually be quite generous on most occasions for a team that plays tough defensive basketball, has been on great from and also has home court advantage. However, Brooklyn’s Sunday night loss to the Toronto Raptors officially locked them into the fourth seed in the East leaving nothing else for this team to play for. Meanwhile, the Wizards enter this game having lost five straight games and with a six-game road losing streak. Washington should be the more motivated line-up.
It seems pretty likely that Brooklyn will rest key players over the final two games of the regular season now that they can no longer catch Indiana for the third seed and they also can’t be caught in the fourth seed. Monday’s game comes on a back-to-back as well, which could encourage head coach P.J. Carlesimo to rest the likes of Deron Williams immediately.
Williams has been a ‘Wizard-killer’ already this season knocking down 33 points in the first half of a romp in early March. Meanwhile, the likes of Brooks Lopez could also be rested over the next couple of games as Brooklyn prepares for an important first round playoff series against either the Chicago Bulls or Atlanta Hawks.
The loss of guards Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal to injury has hurt Washington who actually caused some trouble to a few playoff competitors over the previous month. The Wizards have recent wins against the LA Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Memphis Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers. However, they’ve come apart in recent weeks and are slumping to another frustrating finish.
The main late season positive for Wizards’ fans has been the play of John Wall. The third year pro is finally starting to look like the game changing player that many pegged him to be when he was drafted 1st overall. Wall is averaging a career high 18.4 points per game and he has been red hot of late scoring 22.0 points per game since the calender turned to March. He’s still dishing the basketball nicely as well and he’s even been bringing some rebounds in recent games.
Betting Preview: Brooklyn (-7.5) vs. Washington
Three reasons why you should pick against the spread here and go for the Wizards at +7.5.
1) John Wall is playing fantastic basketball and in a game where the intensity is inevitably going to be a little low, he should take over the game and could be the key factor in a surprise Wizards win.
2) Williams has been absolutely vital to Brooklyn’s offense over the past couple of weeks. The Nets are still a below average team offensively, but Williams’ fantastic run has helped to cover that up. He is very likely not to be playing in this game. Expect Brooklyn’s offense to falter without him.
3) Washington will be motivated not to end the season on a seven-game losing streak. They will come into this game motivated and pumped up against a Brooklyn line-up that played on Sunday and now officially has nothing to play for until the playoffs start.
The Pick: Wizards (+7.5) [5dimes.eu]
Writer Record Against The Spread: 11-5