Wizards vs Nuggets Pick and Preview: The Washington Wizards (11-18) will be tipping off against the Denver Nuggets (17-14) on Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET inside the Ball Arena located in Denver, Colorado. Below, I will be sharing with you my picks and predictions for when these two opposing conferences come together for a Thursday night showdown.
Odds, Spreads, and Lines
Last updated: 6:00 p.m.
Moneyline: Wizards (+225), Nuggets (-271)
Against the spread: Wizards +7 (-105), Nuggets -7 (-110)
Over/Under: O 237 (-112), U 237 (-107)
Ish Smith (Quad) – ruled out for 6-8 weeks
PJ Dozier (Hamstring) – ruled out against Wizards
JaMychal Green (Shoulder) – ruled out against Wizards
Gary Harris (Adductor) – ruled out against Wizards
Paul Millsap (Knee) – ruled out against Wizards
Wizards on the Rise
The Washington Wizards have now won 5 out of their last 6 games. 4 of those last 5 wins were against teams that would make the playoffs if the season were to come to an end today. The lone loss came against the Western Conference’s 2nd place team, the Los Angeles Clippers.
Let’s look at those 4 wins and analyze the high quality of the teams they beat around the league.
2/14 vs Celtics (15-16) 104-91 Win
2/17 vs Nuggets (17-14) 130-128 Win
2/20 vs Trailblazers (18-13) 118-111 Win
2/22 vs Lakers (22-10) 127-124 OT Win
This is the same Wizards team that began their season with a record of 2 wins and 8 losses through the first 10 games of the season. They were losing to below average teams such as the Bulls (14-16) and Magic (13-19). They haven’t played the Magic since the third game of the season, but took advantage of their opportunity in getting revenge on the Bulls on 2/8 with a 105-101 victory.
Players Producing for Wizards
Bradley Beal will be making his 3rd All-Star Game appearance in 2021 and it will be his first time being voted to be on the starting lineup in his career. The 27 year-old is leading the NBA in scoring this year putting up 32.7 points per game. He had his career high of 60 points on 1/6 vs the 76ers in a 141-136 loss.
He is not the only Wizard putting up all-star caliber numbers this season as Russell Westbrook has been able to show flashes of what he was capable of doing in his time with the Thunder. Averaging around a triple-double this season, Westbrook will be one of the few players in NBA history to not make the All-Star Game with the numbers he has been putting up.
Westbrook is averaging 19.9 points per game (35th overall), 9.7 rebounds per game (13th overall), and 9.7 assists per game (2nd overall). In his last 7 games, Westbrook is averaging 11.4 assists and 11.1 rebounds. Looking at their last 5 wins it’s clear how big of an impact he has had on their recent success.
Nuggets Latest Struggles
The Denver Nuggets have lost 3 out of their last 5 games as their injuries are beginning to pile up and weakening the talent coming off the bench. On a positive note, Jamal Murray has enhanced his play averaging 32.8 points in his last 5 appearances. He shot 8-10 from beyond the arc and had a total of 50 points in a 120-103 win against the Cavaliers.
A major problem is that those 3 losses came against teams that have below .500 winning percentages.
2/16 vs Celtics (15-16) 112-99 Loss
2/17 vs Wizards (11-18) 130-128 Loss
2/21 vs Hawks (13-18) 123-115 Loss
Wizards vs Nuggets Pick
I anticipate that the Wizards keep their foot on the gas and look to improve their record. With a lot of games left in the season, the Wizards are only 8.5 games out of the playoffs and can easily make a surge to rise in the standings. I fully anticipate a late-season surge out of them.
Free Pick: Washington Wizards +7