With the NBA currently in the All-Star break, it’s a great time to look at some Futures bets for the rest of the season. The teams are settling in, some teams are making a playoff push, and some teams are preparing for the draft lottery. Let’s dive right in to make a winning NBA pick.
The Washington Wizards have had an up-and-down season so far. The Wizards got off to a slow start but at the end of January with a seven-game winning streak. That run, combined with a 4-2 stretch in February has helped the Wizards being contention for a Play In spot. The Wizards are currently 28-32, good for 10th place in the Eastern Conference.
The Wizards have intriguing star power. Their highest-paid player is Bradley Beal who’s a former All-Star. Beal gives the team a scoring punch and he is excellent at creating his own shot to get a quality look with the game on the line. Unfortunately for the Wizards, Beal is a below-average defender, and his athleticism is beginning to wane. Beal is still a great shooter but not the player he once was.
Kuzma and Porzingis
The Wizards took a flyer and bought low on Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis is now on his third team, after a stint in New York and then an attempt to pair with Luka Doncic in Dallas. Porzingis has finally found his fit on this Washington team that can use his unique ability of size and shooting.
Porzingis has had problems with health in his career but he has been reasonably healthy this year, and his strong level of play contributed to the Wizards’ success. Still, Porzingis’ health is always a question mark, as his ability to get things done against the very stoutest defenses in the NBA.
The brightest spot on the Wizards this season has been the play of Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma has developed into a legitimate wing. Kuzma is averaging 21.4 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game, and 3.9 assists per game.
With Kuzma becoming a force on the outside in a wing-dominated league, his play has been the biggest positive development for the Wizards this season. The Wizards were dependent on strong showings from Kyle Kuzma during their win streak.
Going Over Their Total Season Wins
As exciting as these developments have been for Washington, I still struggle to see how they will go over their set total of 39.5 regular season wins for the rest of the year. To go over the regular season win total number, Washington would have to go 12-10 for the last search of the season.
Washington has a tough schedule in March, they play the Toronto Raptors three times and also have games against Top Notch teams such as the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Boston Celtics. They play the Western Conference’s best teams, the Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings.
The only easy games on their schedule are the two times they play the Pistons, their two games against the Magic (who have been much better), and one game hosting the San Antonio Spurs. It is hard to see the Washington Wizards emerging from this schedule above 13 wins.
At full strength, the Wizards could possibly do it, but the Wizards have had problems staying healthy all year. They will be relying on the health of Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis, two notoriously fragile players. And even if they stay healthy, many teams are much stronger.
Washington has been inconsistent this year. After their slow start, teams overlooked them. With everything on the line, however, the Wizards will not be able to count on taking on unmotivated or unprepared opponents. As the stakes get higher, the Wizard’s chances get lower.
The Wizards are in one of the toughest conundrums in the NBA. They are too good to get a top draft pick to get a start player to build around, yet they’re not good enough to truly compete with the NBA’s best teams. The Wizards are hoping to make a push with this current core, but as it is assembled, they lack the star power to truly compete with the NBA’s heavyweights.
The Wizards’ stars cannot match up with the NBA’s team’s best stars, and their depth is not adequate to compete either. The Washington Wizards have a way of improvement to make. The best NBA future to bet on right now is the Washington Wizards Under 39.5 wins.
NBA Pick: Washington Wizards Under 39.5 Wins (-110) at FanDuel