Moore’s Wednesday NBA Betting Picks & Angles: Wizards vs. Magic & Bulls vs. Pelicans
Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram
Two angles for Wednesday based on trends and matchups…
Odds as of Wednesday afternoon and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Wizards at Magic
- Spread: Magic -9.5
- Over/under: 220.5
- Time: 7:10 p.m. ET
The Angle: Zombie Wizards Never Die
No John Wall.
No Davis Bertans.
No Rui Hachimura.
No Thomas Bryant.
No Garrison Matthews, who apparently is an NBA player, I found out this month.
No CJ Miles.
The Zombie Wizards continue to battle by getting non-stop buckets with wins against the Nuggets and Celtics over the past week. Now I’m supposed to believe the Wizards — with Bradley Beal a 55% chance to play according to our Labs NBA Insider Tool — should be double-digit dogs to the Magic?
Orlando, by the way, is dead-last in points allowed per game from spot-up opportunities and dead-last per-possession. The eternal bucket-getting Wizards are ninth, with the 11th-best effective field goal percentage.
The Wizards are 10-7 ATS as road dogs while the Magic are 6-6 as home favorites this season. The Magic are 2-1 ATS vs. the Wizards this season with all three spreads much closer than this, and 1-2 this season as a favorite of eight or more points.
“The Magic just don’t have the firepower to keep up with Ish Smith” is a thing I am saying in the Year of Our Lord, 2020, apparently. With Beal more likely to play than not after being upgraded this morning, and with Orlando 16-19 ATS overall vs. division opponents, this is very doable.
The Pick: Zombie Wizards +9.5
Bulls at Pelicans
- Spread: Pelicans -4
- Over/Under: 224.5
- Time: 8:10 p.m. ET
The Angle: Bulls’ Edge In A Battle of Cover Giants
Since Thanksgiving, the dysfunctional, grumpy, under-coached Bulls are 11-6-1 against the spread. Since Dec. 15, the Pelicans are 7-3-1 ATS.
Something has got to give.
The Pelicans are favored without Jrue Holiday, and the Bulls are 7-2-1 as road underdogs this season.
The key here is that since the start of the 2018-19 season, the Pelicans are 6-12 ATS without Holiday. They’re 2-1 this season, but they were underdogs in both ATS wins. This is their first time as a favorite this season without Holiday.
The Pelicans are on a hot streak, having covered six of eight. Lonzo Ball is playing incredibly well, and the whole team is amping up momentum in advance of Zion Williamson’s likely return in the next two weeks. They have the No. 7 defense over the past 10 games after being bottom-five for most of the season.
The Bulls, meanwhile, have covered only once in their past six games.
However, Chicago has the No. 9 defense in transition per possession this season per Synergy Sports, and is allowing the 11th-fewest fastbreak points per 100 possessions per NBA.com. The Pelicans are a top-10 transition offense, but are bottom-10 in half-court — top-10 transition defenses are covering at a 53% rate on the road this season, per our data at Bet Labs.
The Pelicans have been playing better, but the absence of Holiday coupled with an underrated Bulls team as a road dog puts the value squarely on Chicago.
The Pick: Bulls +4; Under 224.5