Day two of the NBA's Orlando bubble restart features one of the teams we need to play well in the seeding rounds: the Washington Wizards.
Several weeks back, I wrote about taking a shot at Washington at +1400 to be the 8-seed in the Eastern Conference. That number has since moved down to +850.
Coming up in the bubble on July 31st, the Wizards will play the Phoenix Suns, with Washington as a four-point underdog. Let’s dive into the matchup.
Phoenix Suns vs Washington Wizards
Point Spread: Phoenix Suns -4
Moneyline: Washington +148
Season Series: Washington Wizards 1-0
Suns vs Wizards Betting Preview
I know bookmakers are smart people, but I can't understand how the Suns are four-point favorites in this game.
My only guess is that there must be strong feelings that Wizards star Bradley Beal will not be joining his teammates in the Orlando bubble.
The last thing we heard from Beal was that he was training like he was going to play. He was also working closely with Washington's medical staff at the time.
Beal plays a lot of minutes and he will have a greater responsibility to carry the offense with Davis Bertans opting not to play. Thankfully we don't have to place this bet today.
Phoenix will enter the bubble as a young team that's fortunate for the experience. When the season came to a pause, head coach Monty Williams’ team had lost five of their last seven games.
The Suns did have times where they were playing well this season. Devin Booker is one of the best young scorers in the league and Deandre Ayton looks like he will be a force for years to come. Just like Washington, the Suns will be missing a key piece in Kelly Oubre Jr. Oubre, the Suns’ third-leading scorer at 18 points a game will be sitting out rehabbing a knee injury.
These two teams only played once this season on November 27th when Washington beat Phoenix 140-132 in D.C. The Wizards play at such a fast pace that the over on the point total should come in easily if Beal plays.
The key to this game will be the status of Bradley Beal. If he plays, bet the Wizards +4 and put a tad more than a sprinkle on the moneyline.
When NBA odds first rolled out a few weeks ago, the Memphis Grizzlies were -160 to be the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Now, money is starting to come in on the New Orleans Pelicans to be the 8-seed, giving us better odds on the Grizzlies.
Right now Memphis is -140 while New Orleans is +290. As the season gets closer, I can see Memphis getting down to around -125, which is the price I'm waiting to fire on.
Grizzlies Insider Anthony Sain had this gem recently from a video call with rookie of the year front-runner Grizzlies Ja Morant.
"When Ja Morant was asked about how he feels about national media counting his team out and predicting that the New Orleans Pelicans or Portland Trailblazers, Morant said that he uses it as motivation.”
A motivated Morant is certainly worth my bet as action from the bubble continues to inch closer.