NBA Expert Betting Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Washington Wizards

San Antonio Spurs AT Washington Wizards
Feb 12, 2011 at 8 PM EST
Opening Line: SA -7
Current Line:  SA -6.5
Opening Total: 197
Current Total: 195
Opening Moneyline: SA -305 / Was +255
Current Moneyline:  SA -280 / Was +230

John Wall Wizards Guard
John Wall is averaging 9.0 assists per game, good for 5th in the league

Things haven’t been easy for the Wizards, and it won’t be getting easier tonight against the Spurs.  The Wizards haven’t beat Spurs in the last 10 meetings, and because the teams only play 2 times a year being of different confrences, the Wizards haven’t won against the Spurs in over five years.

The Wizards have only won back to back games once in this season and this could be their second chance at a two game winning streak.  They had dropped eight straight before winning their last game.  Washington coach Flip Saunders tried to draw positives from the victory:

“What happens is, you keep on saying ‘hey, we’re getting better’ but sometimes you gotta have a win to show it.  That’s something that is optical that you can see. Players need to get those and I thats something they can build (on).”

Some betting trends:

San Antonio is 15-3 SU in their last 18 games and 4-1 SU in their last 5 road games.  San Antonio is 5-0 SU in their last 5 againts the Wizards and the total has gone UNDER in 5 of the last 5 against Washington.  The total has gone UNDER in 6 of the last 7 road games against Washington and San Antonio is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games in Washington.

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Washington’s last 5 games and Washington is 1-8 SU in their last 9 games.  Washington is 6-15 ATS in their last 21 games.  The total has gone UNDER in 14 of the Wizards’ last 18 home games.  Washington is 2-4 SU in their last 6 home games against the Spurs. Washington is 2-4 SU in their last 6 home games and they are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games against San Antonio.  The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the last 5 games against the Spurs and Washington is 0-5 SU in their last 5 games against San Antonio.  Washington is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games against the Spurs and the total has gone UNDER in 6 of the last 7 home games against the Spurs.  Washington is 1-4 SU in their last 5 home games against San Antonio.

Key Matchups:

Tony Parker & George Hill vs. John Wall

Going into the season, John Wall was projected to be the rookie of the year by many experts.  Well, he hasn’t been, and it isn’t because he isn’t playing well.  It’s just that his counter part Blake Griffin has been that much better.  Wall will look to build on his successes tonight against the quick George Hill and Tony Parker.  Wall is great handling the ball and should be able to get Hill and Parker falling back on their heels quite a bit.  He’s adept at getting to the basket and creating easy shots for himself or (especially) JaVale McGee.  Wall is in elite company in assists.  Ranking 5th in the league he is behind only 4 established stars in Rondo, Nash, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams.  If Wall continues to improve his offense he could easily become one of those top players.  He’s been putting up stats on a bad team, but his talent level is such that you could expect him to put up great numbers no matter which team he was on.

Manu Ginobili vs Nick Young

Nick Young has emerged as one of the best at putting up points.  He’s more than doubled his scoring average from last season and is now averaging 17.6 points per game.  He dropped 43 points in a win over Sacramento and he has scored 21 or more in 6 of his last 9 games.  Ginobili is a decent defender and could frustrate Young, however.  What’s more is that Young will have to chase Ginobili around on defense, a task that is sure to zap some of his energy that would otherwise be expended on the offensive end.  Ginobili made the all star team this year, which is something Young may aspire to, but he isn’t there yet.  Ginobili’s craftyness should be good to exploit Young on defense as he just doesn’t have the experience covering players like Ginobili for large stretches.

Given the Spurs’ dominance against Washington, the line actually looks a little too close.  The Spurs are 19-7 on the road and Washington is 12-14 at home.

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