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NBA Betting Lines Analysis on Wednesday
Best NBA bets to make on Wednesday
Washington Wizards (-2) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (+2)
Though the Washington Wizards have been on a legitimate tear of late, the Memphis Grizzlies are a true force to be reckoned with. They have one of the best defenses in the league, and their offensive spacing has been better—not great, but better—following the return of Chandler Parsons.
The Wizards will give the Grizzlies problems when they run small, but that's what JaMychal Green is in Memphis for. He is, without question, one of the most versatile defensive players in the NBA. He can defend both ball-handlers and pick-and-roll divers, and he should have no problems keeping pace with Otto Porter and Markieff Morris over the course of the night.
John Wall probably has the edge over Mike Conley, but the gap isn't as wide as some will make it out to be. Marc Gasol is clearly better than Marcin Gortat, Parsons will make the small forward position a wash if his legs are feeling good, and Tony Allen will do some truly terrible things to Bradley Beal on the defensive end.
So while teams with an above-average amount of athleticism don't make great matchups for the Grizzlies, they have the personnel and malleability necessary to steal this one from the Wizards.
The Pick: Memphis Grizzlies (+2)
Philadelphia 76ers (+5) vs. Toronto Raptors (-5)
Yes, we get it: The Philadelphia 76ers, by their own standards, are streaking. They have maintained one of the league's best defensive ratings for roughly half the current season, and Joel Embiid is a matchup nightmare for everyone, including the Toronto Raptors.
But let's not act like the Sixers have concluded their process and are suddenly this above-average basketball team. Because they aren't.
They are maddeningly inconsistent on the offensive end, Joel Embiid turns over the ball a ton, and the team's chances of winning any games plummet whenever head coach Brett Brown decides to use Jahlil Okafor.
Some will be uneasy about the Raptors coming in on the tail end of a back-to-back. But Kyle Lowry didn't play in their win over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night, so he will be well-rested and ready to rock upon returning to his hometown of Philly.
And, as a rule of thumb, a well-rested Kyle Lowry is a scary Kyle Lowry.
The Pick: Toronto Raptors (-5)
Houston Rockets (-6.5) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (+6.5)
A big part of yours truly wants to roll with the Milwaukee Bucks. They are long, opportunistic and Giannis Antetokounmpo is a gotdamn alien.
But we can't overlook what the Houston Rockets are doing this season. They are torching teams with a barrage of three-pointers, and their defense has been better than expected. James Harden remains one of the MVP favorites, and scarier still, the Rockets have found lineups that can work without him.
Add in the Bucks' league-worst performance during crunch time, and the Rockets may end up winning big even if Milwaukee remains within striking distance until the final three to five minutes.
The Pick: Houston Rockets (-6.5)
Boston Celtics (-9.5) vs. New York Knicks (+9.5)
Kristaps Porzingis will not play against the Boston Celtics, and there's a chance Joakim Noah doesn't either. Factor in that the New York Knicks have lost 11 of their last 13 games, along with the grade-school drama unfolding between Carmelo Anthony and team president Phil Jackson, you're short on reasons to like them.
Still, the Knicks have played a lot of tight games during their most recent run of incompetence.
Though you should expect the Celtics to ultimately win, a spread nearing 10 points feels like a bit much.
The Pick: New York Knicks (+9.5)
Golden State Warriors (-13.5) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (+13.5)
You saw what the Golden State Warriors did to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night, right? The reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers? They destroyed them, thoroughly and without pause.
That's what typically happens when the Warriors get up for big games on their own floor. And you can classify the second-ever meeting between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook as a big game.
You can also bank on Golden State's array of All-NBA talent obliterating Oklahoma City's cast of role players around Westbrook.
Truth told, while the fans in us want this game to be close, the logical bettors in us know it won't be.
The Pick: Golden State Warriors (-13.5)
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