The NBA All-Star break is over which means both the Cavs and Wizards should be fresh heading into the 2/22 NBA free pick. Cleveland hopes the 8-day break didn’t kill their newfound momentum after they had won four straight before play wound down. The same goes for the Wizards however as they’ve rattled off wins in 7 of their last 9 even without PG John Wall. Bettors are loving the CLE -5.5 to the tune of over 80% of the public wagers. Does this mean Thursday night is prime fade opportunity for a Wizards bet?
Cavs have a good test at home tonight against the Wizards that will tell everyone whether this team is for real or not. 3 game winning streak before all-star break wasn’t a good sample size. Time off during all-star break will say a lot with how Cavs come out tonight and play.
— NBAMVP (@NBAMVP) February 22, 2018
Washington Aims for a Calming Road Win
The Wizards sit in 4th place in the Eastern Conference but there are still some worries. The team won’t be getting Wall back for probably another month and they’ve posted just a 16-14 road record on the season. To play devil’s advocate though – Washington has gone 7-2 with Wall out of the lineup and they’ve also won 5 of their last 6 road contests. The Wizards have a top 10 offense and a get-the-job-done defense that could challenge Cleveland in the first game back for the 2/22 NBA free pick.
Although Cleveland has a new-look lineup, the Wizards might have the horses to contend led by Bradley Beal who pumped in 36 the last time out against the Knicks. Otto Porter, Jr. is tallying 19.3 ppg over his last eight games and big man Ian Mahini could contribute against the Cavs front line. Then again maybe the Wizards just don’t match up well with Cleveland as the Cavs have taken the first two meetings this year – both in Washington.
Cavs Debut Their New Roster at Home for the First Time
The 2/22 NBA free pick marks the home debut for Cleveland’s George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, hometown guy Larry Nance, Jr. and Rodney Hood who were all acquired at the trade deadline. This Fab Four has combined to average 49.5 points and while shooting over 50% in their first two games with the Cavs. Overall Cleveland’s offense seems to be clicking as they have gone for 120+ in four straight contests. Cleveland has shown depth as their bench has chipped in 50 points in each of the last three games. Looking more at this game, Washington could be in some trouble.
Cleveland also still has that Lebron James guy who was just named the All-Star game MVP. James is on a mini-tear even by his numbers, averaging 30 points, 13 assists, and 9.5 rebounds during the Cavs four game win streak. Another sign that the Wizards don’t match up well with James is that he put up 57 in the first meeting of the year back in November. Combined with the fact that JR Smith is shooting .944 in the first quarter of the last five games and it seems things might be clicking for the Cavs.
2/22 NBA Free Pick Betting
Road team has won the last 5 matchups between Wizards and Cavs. Will that trend continue tonight?
Wiz/Cavs H2H: https://t.co/NP0lGbVo95
— TeamRankings.com (@TeamRankings) February 22, 2018
Over 80% of the public backing the Cavs tonight isn’t ideal, but on paper they’ve got the best matchup. That being said, the line moved from -7 to CLE -5.5 despite all the action on the Cavs. The public is anxious to bet on the NBA after the all-star break and oddsmakers seem to be rolling a fishy line right out of the gate. The Wizards are 5-1 ATS their last 6 road games while Cleveland is 0-5 ATS their last 5 Thursday night games on TNT.
Free Pick: Washington Wizards +5