563 Wizards (+7) over Lakers
The Wizards have made significant adjustments over the past few weeks and they’re starting to look more like the team a lot people including myself thought they would like once they traded for Russell Westbrook. With their last win over the Blazers they’re now 6-4 SU and ATS in their last 10 games while 5 of those teams were over .500. They’re biggest improvement has come on the defensive end where they were ranked 25th in defensive rating and 22nd in opponent eFG% but over their last 10 games they rank 7th in defensive rating and 4th in opponent eFG%. Westbrook is also coming off one of his best games as a Wizard but his impact has been felt the most on the defensive end as well. For the season Westbrook ranked 9th in defensive rating out of the key guys that play consistently but during this 4 game winning streak he ranks 5th best with a 102.5 rating. With the Lakers missing Dennis Schroeder for this matchup I expect Westbrook to continue to take advantage of his matchup while Beal continues his high level of production.
The Lakers are 7-3 SU over their last 10 games but they’ve been failing to meet expectations ATS by going 4-6 and they’ve played some pretty bad teams with 5 of those opponents being under .500. The Lakers also needed 4 overtime periods to pull out wins against the Pistons and Thunder. The Lakers were already an average offensive team for the year ranking 15th in offensive rating but over the last 4 games without Anthony Davis they’ve fell all the way to 24th with the Heat being the only respectable defense. I think a big factor for this matchup will be the Wizards ability to keep playing defense at a high level and forcing the Lakers into turnovers while turning them into points. The Lakers have been one of the worst teams all season when it comes to taking care of the ball ranking 25th in turnover percentage while the Wizards have been one of the best teams in the league scoring off their opponents turnovers ranking 6th in the league. The Wizards are also the fastest pace playing team while a older Lakers team ranks in the bottom 10 so I’m also expecting the Wizards to push the pace for majority of the game.
The Wizards are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs teams with a 60% win percentage or better so I think they’ll be motivated for another title contending team. The Lakers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games at home and as home favorites so as dominant as they’ve been on the road they have been the opposite at home.