There’s only one game on Thursday’s slate, and that will be the Washington Wizards hosting the Indiana Pacers. The winner of this matchup will face the No. 1 seed Philadelphia 76ers, who have been waiting with their feet up. Once this game is over, we’ll finally have the whole playoff picture in the Eastern Conference.
Last night, I went 1-1 to bring the playoff record to 1-3 ATS after a 57% regular season. Here is a free NBA betting pick to get things rolling in the right direction.
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Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards (-3) – Total: 238
The Wizards won all three meetings with the Pacers this season, but the margin of victory (8, 11, 1) was somewhat within reason. It’s also worth noting that all three Indiana-Washington matchups this season went over the total.
I believe we’ll see more of the same tonight, in both regards. After all, the Wizards have Russell Westbrook playing out of his mind and that could very well be the difference. This season marked the fourth time in his career that he averaged a triple-double. While that is only a fraction of winning basketball games for most, it was the reason why Washington was so successful down the stretch. The Wizards concluded the regular season on an amazing 17-7 run, with six of those losses coming by four points or fewer.
Bradley Beal is still dealing with a hamstring issue, and we saw that be a factor in the Wizards’ last game against the Celtics. However, the Pacers are just as banged up, missing key players like Caris LeVert and Myles Turner while Malcolm Brogdon and Edmond Sumner are both listed as questionable.
At the end of the day, I like the Wizards roster a lot more. Westbrook & Co. have only lost consecutive games once since the beginning of April; that happened last week at Atlanta, with the combined margin totaling five points. Against similar opponents in the Eastern Conference this season, Washington was 23-19-1 ATS while Indy was only 18-24-1 ATS.
Betting Pick: Wizards (-3)