Wednesday tip-off: 4 sensible NBA picks for midweek profits
Having shaken off their recent slump, the resurgent Thunder are among our picks to earn an important victory...
Oklahoma City Thunder to beat Washington Wizards –
After going through a short slump last week, the Thunder have found their groove again with three consecutive wins.
They now face a Wizards team that have improved their record recently by beating poor teams.
Their last four victories came against the Knicks, Suns, Magic and Kings, all of whom are unlikely to make it to the playoffs.
Washington remain fourth from bottom in the Eastern Conference, however, and they are a below-average team both offensively and defensively.
The Thunder are one of the league’s best offensive teams, ranking inside the top eight in both field goal percentage and points per game.
They should have enough firepower to extend their winning run to four games.
New York Knicks to beat Minnesota Timberwolves –
The Knicks should edge the first of two back-to-back meetings between these teams.
While both sides are currently on two-game losing streaks, the Timberwolves have struggled all season.
Their current record of five wins and 12 defeats is the third-worst in the Western Conference, and they have lost five of their last six.
The Knicks’ length will be an important factor. They rank seventh in rebounding and eighth in blocked shots – categories that the Timberwolves rank 28th and 21st in respectively.
New York had won five of six before their current two-game slide, and they should return to form against one of the weakest teams in the NBA.
Denver Nuggets to beat Miami Heat –
Ranking 28th in points per game, 27th in field goal percentage and 27th in offensive rating, the Heat have been terrible offensively this season.
It is no surprise, then, that they have only won five games and currently sit third-bottom in the Eastern Conference.
They have lost four of their last five, and were even beaten by the 76ers – arguably the worst team in the NBA.
While the Nuggets are unlikely to earn a playoff berth this season, they are the more solid all-round team.
And they have been particularly impressive offensively, currently ranking ninth in points per game.
Denver have won three of their last five, and one of their defeats during that period was a narrow overtime loss to the Thunder.
Atlanta Hawks to beat Phoenix Suns –
The Hawks lost a close game against the formidable Warriors last night, but their lack of rest shouldn’t cause them a problem against the Suns.
Another of the Western Conference’s bottom-dwellers, Phoenix have only won five games all season and lost nine of their last 12.
They are below-average defensively, and only five teams rank lower in offensive rating.
Atlanta have struggled recently, but they currently sit sixth in the East thanks to their early-season form.
Considering they have the league’s best defensive rating, they should be able to stifle the offensively-challenged Suns.