Sometimes facts lead to misperceptions. There are two examples of this in the Bucks-Wizards Friday matchup.
The Bucks have the best record in the NBA. John Wall is a great player being a five-time All-Star.
Both sentences are facts. However ... there is more than meets the eye in both statements. Knowing them should help lead to a profitable investment by backing the Wizards.
The Bucks deserve huge kudos for compiling the top winning percentage in the league through 40 games. But the Bucks have put together their outstanding record mainly at home. They are 10-7 on the road, 8-8 ATS. So spread-wise, Milwaukee is merely an average away club. The Bucks also are in a flat spot after a huge nationally televised road win against the Rockets and James Harden on Wednesday. Proving themselves on national TV is a big deal to the small market Bucks.
This game is far from the madding crowd. It's a low-key affair against a 17-25 Washington team that is minus its best player, Wall.
Guess what, though? You can make a strong case Washington is better team-wise without Wall. Remember when Wall was injured last season? The Wizards proceeded to play their best ball winning 11 of 14 games. That streak pushed them into the playoffs.
It could happen again this season. The Wizards are 4-3 and 5-2 ATS since Wall was lost for the season. There is more to the Wizards than Wall. Otto Porter Jr. has gotten the rust off since returning from a quad injury. Bradley Beal is a top-scoring backcourt threat. Trevor Ariza is an underrated two-way pro. Wall's injury has also brought more prominence to unsung guard Tomas Satoransky and center Thomas Bryant.
Washington has won and covered each of its last three home games. The Wizards are below-the-radar and should be highly motivated to prove themselves in this spot.
Please note that since I released this game late Thursday night, the line has dropped quite a bit as word is out that Giannis Antetokounmpo is doubtful and Eric Bledsoe is questionable. I would not have made this a Triple Star at the current number. However, the handicap still holds. The Wizards are very live here to beat the Bucks straight-up if Milwaukee doesn't have Antetokounmpo.