WASHINGTON @ ORLANDO | 1/25 | 7:00 PM EST
Washington is 7-3 their last 10 games and is 7-4 since John Wall opted for surgery on his foot. That doesn’t mean the Wizards are better without Wall, but maybe they are better without an injured Wall. The Wizards had won four of five games before facing Golden State on Thursday, but they also had some good fortune. Guard Bradley Beal has stepped up his play with Wall out. He’s averaging 24.7 points per game on 47 percent shooting with 5.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game. Newly-acquired small forward Trevor Ariza (14.7ppg, 37.2% FG) has helped though he struggled with his shot since arriving from Phoenix. Forward Otto Porter (13.ppg, 40% 3pt), the latest player mentioned in trade rumors, has also benefitted from Wall’s absence.
At 20-28, Orlando would appear to be out of the playoff race. But in the Eastern Conference, nearly everybody is in the race. The Wizards are two games out of the final spot (Miami), while Orlando is three games out. After losing four of five games, the Magic have to make a decision with the trade deadline looming on Feb. 7 at 3pmET. The Magic have had stable production from big man Nikola Vucevic, who is putting up a career-best campaign where he’s averaging a double with a career-high 20.5 points an 12.0 rebounds while shooting 51.7 percent from the floor and 38.1 percent from 3-point range. Vucevic has stepped it up with his production over the last five games averaging 23.4 points and 12.8 rebounds while shooting 45.9 percent from the floor.
My data sees the Wizards betting the Magic outright Friday in 55 percent of simulations, providing a massive value on the underdog. Since the price provides such a huge overlay in comparison to Washington’s true chances to win, let’s skip taking the points and go with the handsome money-line payback. Washington is on an 8-2 run ATS in its last 10 games.