Nets vs. Wizards Odds & Picks: Expect Points Galore in Brooklyn-Washington Showdown

Nets vs. Wizards Odds & Picks: Expect Points Galore in Brooklyn-Washington Showdown article feature image
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Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook.

  • The Brooklyn Nets take on the Washington Wizards on Sunday in an intriguing NBA showdown.
  • This game features a meeting of former star teammates James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
  • Austin Wang explains why he expects a high-scoring affair below.

Nets vs. Wizards Odds

Nets Odds -8.5
Wizards Odds +8.5
Moneyline -375/+295
Over/Under 244.5
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV NBA TV
Odds as of Sunday at 8:30 a.m. ET and via DraftKings.

On Sunday’s loaded NBA card, one game stands out with some of the most interesting narratives.

This will be the first time James Harden and Russell Westbrook meet since parting ways from the Houston Rockets, with their partnership in that team’s backcourt ending abruptly after one season.

On the basketball court, these two teams are moving in opposite directions. The Brooklyn Nets’ offense is clicking on all cylinders, having won four consecutive games leading to this battle against the Washington Wizards.

On the other side, nothing has gone right for the league-worst Wizards (3-12), as they’re in the middle of a four-game losing streak  Washington lost promising center Thomas Bryant to a season-ending ACL injury, plus it has had games rescheduled due to the team’s COVID-19 issues.

The total for this showdown has opened up at an extremely high 244 points and now sits at 244.5 points. Since the 2018-2019 season, only 15 games have had a total of 243 or more at tipoff, with 12 of those 15 games going under the number.

Given these teams’ up-tempo pace and lack of defense, I am anticipating this will be one of the few games that goes over when it comes to the total.

Brooklyn Nets

Look out now. Brooklyn has won four consecutive games and there are “scary hours” ahead for the NBA.

The quartet of victories included two against the battered Miami Heat; an impressive win in overtime against the Atlanta Hawks; and, a 22-point drumming of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Although this is not an elite list, the offense is rolling and the players are building a rapport with each another.

Today’s game against the Wizards will be the third and final game of a road trip  for the Nets before they head back to New York.

As expected, the addition of one of the most dynamic offensive players has given the Nets an immediate boost. Harden is settling into the role as primary facilitator, averaging double-digit assists per game (11.9) since his arrival.

As a team since Harden’s first game back on Jan. 16, Brooklyn is ranked second in Offensive Rating (trailing only Utah); second in Assist-to-Turnover Ratio; and, first in Effective Field Goal percentage. The Nets are 7-1 to the over during these eight games, per our Bet Labs tool.

However, Harden is listed as questionable with a potential thigh injury. Monitor his status with the Bet Labs Insider tool leading up to the game, even though my personal opinion is that he will play. Harden is a tank and has been durable throughout his career.

Defensively, the Nets continue to be struggle in that aspect of their game. They rank 23rd in Defensive Rating (111.70, averaging more than 120-plus points allowed since Harden has joined. Trading away a lot of their depth, such as Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince and Caris Lavert hasn’t helped matters.

DeAndre Jordan is not the player he once was, which leaves Brooklyn to do what they do best to win games and that’s score points.

One predictive metric I found in recent performances is Assist-to-Turnover Ratio.  Since 2016, teams with an Assist-to-Turnover Ratio of 2.5 or more in their three previous games are 58-22-2 (72.5%) to the over, per the Sports Data Query Language database.

This is active on the Nets. They are moving and protecting the ball well. Teams in this situation usually have their offense flowing, and carry forward this proficiency to the following game.


Washington Wizards

Nothing has seemed to go right for the Wizards, who have faced all sorts of adversity and challenges this season.

Washington never seemed to develop much chemistry and consistency from the start, with Westbrook sitting out sporadically and leading the team to re-adjust to the high-usage point guard each time. Westbrook has been putting up big numbers as usually, but his shooting continues to be horrible. Needless to say, this is not translating over into the win column.

Six Wizards players had positive COVID-19 tests this season, and the NBA had to postpone almost two weeks’ worth of games.

Bradley Beal is clearly unhappy. And while he’s been putting up his numbers, Beal is not getting much support from his teammates. Davis Bertans, the sharp-shooting big man, has been battling injuries all season. Finally, Rui Hachimura has only played sporadically due to COVID-19 protocols.

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The Hawks were the team that delivers the Wizards their most recent defeat. However, there was good news out of that game in the fact Westbrook, Bertans and Hachimura were all back in the lineup. After shaking off some of their rust, I expect that they show a little more life in this contest.

I can see Westbrook coming out very aggressive against his former teammates. I also envision Bertans and Beal both bouncing back from poor shooting performances against the weak Nets’ defense.

I’ve found a profitable system favoring the overs with home teams who lost their previous same-season matchup against their opponent. In addition, that game went over the total and this rematch has a higher total than that previous game.

These games are 383-287-21 (57.2%) since 2015, per the SDQL database.

This is active on the Wizards, as the increase in total has been correlated with continued scoring production. Their last game ended with the Wizards with a 123-122 scoreline, which came without Harden, so I think they will be able to hit that mark.


Nets-Wizards Pick

Given the two teams’ pace and lack of defense, the only choice is over the total or nothing for me. However, understand that 244 is a incredibly high number, so there isn’t much value.

I do think it’s the right side, with the potential to get some value against the closing line as I anticipate Harden will suit up and the total might even move up a bit. Bottom line, anything higher than a 244 is no-bet for me.

I think the Wizards will be more focused due to their recent slump, with their offense clicking better as players have begun returning from injuries/COVID protocol.  I would also not be surprised if the Wizards also covered the generous spread of +9 points in this contest.

Pick: Total Over 244

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