Most of the NBA has been off for the past few days during the in-season tournament quarterfinals. That means a full schedule on Wednesday with 11 games on the slate. It also means there will be a lot of fresh, well-rested bodies on the floor. Let’s figure out what that could mean while sharing three expert picks for Wednesday’s games.
NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | December 6
Philadelphia 76ers vs Washington Wizards Best Bet:
The wins aren’t coming for the Wizards, although they are 4-2 against the spread in their last six games. They should also be grateful for a little extra rest over the last few days after playing five of their last six games on the road. Washington also ranks seventh in the NBA in points per game, which can make it hard for opposing teams to pull away from them and win by double digits, which is why we’re favoring the Wizards to at least keep this game close.
Also, the 76ers have lost four of their last six games, so they didn’t head into hiatus with much momentum. That stretch includes a 1-3 record on the road with the Philadelphia defense giving up at least 120 points in four of those six games. That’s an unfavorable trend heading into a game against a high-tempo, high-scoring Washington team. With the 76ers only going 2-2 against the spread when favored by eight points or more this season, we don’t feel confident that they can cover the spread on Wednesday.
San Antonio Spurs vs Minnesota Timberwolves Best Bet:
On paper, this looks like a huge mismatch. But if BetMGM is going to give the Spurs 12.5 points, we’re going to take them. Despite San Antonio being in the midst of a 14-game losing streak, we’re a little curious to see how Gregg Popovich can get his team playing after some extra practice time. The Spurs have turned things around a little by going 3-2 against the spread in their last five games, and this spread gives them a lot of leeway.
As good as the T’Wolves have been this season, they haven’t spent a lot of time running away from teams and scoring a high volume of points. Minnesota has a huge drop-off in scoring after Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns. The T’Wolves are also an interior-focused team without a lot of great three-point shooters. That should prevent them from blowing out San Antonio too badly, enabling the Spurs to beat the spread.
Charlotte Hornets vs Chicago Bulls Best Bet:
Neither of these teams is particularly good, which is why it makes sense to lean toward the underdog. To their credit, the Bulls have been decent at home and are coming off surprising wins over the Bucks and Pelicans. But with three days off, Chicago’s momentum will be ruined. More importantly, the Bulls are just 2-6 against the spread this season when they’ve been favored. That’s a bad omen, especially with second-leading scorer Zach LaVine out with an injury.
As for the Hornets, they are 3-3 in their last six games, including wins over Celtics and Nets. They finally have Terry Rozier and Miles Bridges healthy at the same time with both joining averaging over 20 points per game to make up for the absence of LaMelo Ball. Despite Ball’s absence, the Hornets might have more scoring depth than the Bulls do without LaVine, making Charlotte a good upset pick on Wednesday.
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