NBA Picks: Phoenix Suns at Washington Wizards

Bradley Beal-wall-wizards-2013Phoenix at Washington
Time: 7 PM ET, Mar 26, 2014
Spread: PHX -2

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

The Phoenix Suns have been one of the pleasant surprises of the 2013-14 NBA season, but the Suns have fallen out of the playoff picture in the West and now trail the Dallas Mavericks by 1/2 game for the 8th seed.

The Washington Wizards have surged since the All-Star break and are poised to make a playoff appearance of its own. The Wiz are currently seated 6th in the East, and will host the Suns in a game NBA oddsmakers are favoring the Suns by two points.

Washington has become a formidable team since acquiring seven-footer Marcin Gortat. Gortat is one of the best pick and roll centers in the league, both offensively and defensively, and gives John Wall an option for the two-man game. The Wiz rank middle-of-the-league offensively, averaging 101 points per game, but the team’s offense has been fluid. Washington ranks 7th in the league in assists (23.3 per game) and John Wall is averaging 8.8 assists to go with his 19.8 points per game.

Bradley Beal has developed well in his second year, and he’s averaging 17.2 points and 3.3 assists per game. Lastly, Nene Hilario is a strong body able to finish well at the rim, and that is a good complement to Gortat. Washington is hardly the laughing stock it once was, and even has depth with the addition of Andre Miller and other veterans such as Martell Webster, Drew Gooden and Al Harrington.

Phoenix was supposed to make its run with Eric Bledsoe back in the lineup, and the Suns have won four straight contests, but in the West even being 13 games above .500 isn’t good enough to secure a playoff spot as of yet. The Suns rank 6th in the NBA in scoring (105.5 points per game), but the defense is lacking, allowing 102.8 points per game. Gerald Green has emerged as a legit threat from behind the arc, and the high flying swingman is averaging 15.5 points per game this season.

The Suns have no shortage of offensive weapons, with seven players averaging nine points per game or better. Goran Dragic may have been snubbed of an All-Star appearance but the Slovenian is averaging 20.3 points and six assists per game. Phoenix has a plethora of draft picks to add to this core, so the rebuilding effort for the Suns is a smashing success, considering the team was supposed to be lottery fodder this season.

PHX Trends: UNDER 3-0-1 in last 4 Wednesday games; UNDER 4-0-2 in last 6 after scoring 100 points or more in previous game; 5-1 ATS in last 6 vs teams with winning SU records.

WAS Trends: UNDER 5-0 in last 5 vs teams with winning SU record; 1-8 ATS in last 9 when opponent scores 100 or more in previous game; OVER 4-1 in last 5 when opponent scores 100 or more in previous game.

Head-to-head: Suns 6-1 ATS in last 7 meetings in Washington; UNDER 8-2 in last 10 meetings; Suns 7-3 ATS in last 10 meetings.

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