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The Washington Wizards have gone down the tubes after their hot start. Jonathan Macri makes his picks for Jazz vs Wizards and Kings vs Cavaliers.

Utah Jazz vs Washington Wizards Prediction: Fade Struggling Wizards

Utah Jazz vs Washington Wizards

Jazz vs Wizards odds

In the early going of this NBA season, few stories have been as uplifting as that of the Washington Wizards. Supposedly nothing more than a cursory threat for the play-in tournament and more likely a team who would wind up with a top 10 pick in the draft, the Wizards shot out of the gate with a 10-3 record and a spot atop the Eastern Conference. With nearly one-sixth of the season in the bag, there was no reason to think that the playoffs were a realistic goal, at the very least.

In the four weeks that followed that start, the shoe has come off the other foot. The Wizards are 5-8 since that hit start, with a negative 6.3 net rating that ranks 25th in the league. They have just three covers in 13 tries over that time as well, and have dropped four straight against the spread.

Now in comes Utah, finishing up a four-game road trip after having just defeated the Wolves and Sixers by a combined 54 points. They have objectively been the best team in the NBA for the last several weeks, having won six games in a row and about to engage on a five-game home stand in which every game should feature a double-digit spread.

Yet here, they can be had a steep discount, all because of the perception that Washington is still the team that got off to that fast start. Don’t buy it. The Jazz know that they’re on the verge of a special Suns-like run here, and rather than relaxing on the last game of a road trip in which they’ve already won the first three games, they’ll instead be motivated to end it with a bang. Happily give the points.

Utah Jazz vs Washington Wizards Pick

Sacramento Kings vs Cleveland Cavaliers

Kings vs Cavaliers Odds

I wrote extensively yesterday about how the Cavs were the most disrespected team in the NBA, and it was borderline absurd that they were getting a point from the very uneven Timberwolves, even though the game was on the road.

Well, Cleveland smoked Minnesota by 17 points to extend their league-high winning streak against the spread to 10 games. They’ve now covered over 80 percent of their games this season, and now they face the Kings, who have played better since changing coaches but it still anything but a consistent force. Sacramento’s recent three-game winning streak came against the Clippers (twice) and the Magic, but then they dropped a winnable game in Charlotte last night.

None of those teams have anything close to the statistical profile of the Cavs, who since Collin Sexton went down prior to their game on November 10, have a 5.1 net rating that ranks seventh in the league. Their defense in that time ranks third in the NBA, and the Kings have especially struggled against high level defenses all season long. They are just 1-12 when they fail to score 110 points, and the Cavs have only allowed more than 110 six times.

Keep taking advantage of the Cavs lack of respect, and feel good about giving fewer points than Cleveland should be here.

Sacramento Kings vs Cleveland Cavaliers Pick

  • Cavaliers -6.5 (-104)

Article Author


Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.


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