Handicapping the NBA: Wednesday Picks

Handicapping the NBA: Wednesday Picks

This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.

Alex Barutha

Wizards to win (+220) at PHI – BetMGM (3:08 PM CT)

With Joel Embiid ruled out, I think the 76ers will struggle to generate offense, and their defense will obviously take a hit as well. Philadelphia has been annihilated in this series' non-Embiid minutes. When he's been off the court against the Wizards, the 76ers have a -16.8 net rating (in non-garbage time). 

Nick Whalen

Wizards +6.5 at PHI – DraftKings (1:12 PM CT)

The loss of Joel Embiid is obviously a major blow for the Sixers, but they're at home and still have enough firepower to close out the series. My point is that I wouldn't be surprised if the Sixers win, but I will be surprised if it's anything close to an easy victory. Philadelphia struggled in the second half of Game 4 without Embiid, and it's not a great sign that they lost a game in which Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal combined to shoot 12-of-42 from the field. They almost certainly won't shoot that poorly again (though they also probably won't go 20-of-24 at the line), and if Westbrook finally breaks through with a strong game, the Wizards will have a chance to stay alive and force the series back to DC.

Russell Westbrook OVER 23.5 points (-113) at PHI – DraftKings

I'm putting my money where my mouth is. Westbrook has been all over the map in the series, most recently turning in a 3-of-19 performance in Game 4. In typical Westbrook fashion, he salvaged a great fantasy line with 21 rebounds and 14 assists, but he'll need to be more effective as a scorer for Washington to have any chance to pull the upset. With no Embiid, Westbrook should have a clearer path to finishing at the basket, and he's already worked his way to the line 31 times in the last three games.

Joe Bartel

Tobias Harris to record double-double (+110) + Luka Doncic to score OVER 28.5 points (-113) parlay (+297)DraftKings (12:24 PM CT)

You could bet each one of these individually, but we've been a bit hot with the parlays as of late, so I thought we'd up the ante. Especially with Joel Embiid (knee) out, Harris tends to become the main scorer AND rebounder on the team, which matters plenty when he's recorded double-doubles in each of the last two games. Doncic is also due for an explosive game after scoring just 19 on 9-of-24 from the field last time out. The Clippers probably still win, but Doncic just has way too much offensive usage not to be in range for that over, which is actually the lowest it's been since the start of the series.

Jacob Lebowitz

Trae Young OVER 25.5 Points (-106) at NYFanDuel (11:18 AM CT)

Young has played a couple of the best basketball games in his career at Madison Square Garden, especially in this year's playoffs. In Game 1, Young posted 32 points and a game-winning shot while making 11-of-23 from the field. In Game 2, the guard notched 30 points, shooting 11-of-20 from the field. Although Young didn't hit 26 points in Game 3, he did go over 26 in Game 4, and now in a crucial Game 5 for the Hawks, I expect Young to come out and put on a show at MSG. Young will need to take on a large role offensively if the Hawks hope to close out this series in New York.

Dillon Brooks OVER 20.5 points (-115) at UTABetMGM (1:41 PM CT)

Since the end of the regular season, Brooks has become a key offensive threat for the Grizzlies' attack, scoring at least 20 points in five of their last six games. Against the Jazz so far, Brooks has been dominant, averaging 25.5 points per game and scoring at least 21 in every game of the series. One of the biggest drawbacks to Brooks' game is his foul trouble, and in a crucial win-or-go-home game for the Grizzlies, I'd expect Brooks to play smart, stay out of foul trouble, and continue to be a commanding scorer.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Joe Bartel
Joe Bartel is RotoWire's Operations Specialist and football contributor among many other things. When not at the office, he's probably playing a variety of Gen 4 console games or rooting on his beloved Green Bay Packers.
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's NBA Assistant Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, DraftKings Live and other platforms. Vince Carter and Alex both first dunked during their respective sophomore years of high school.
Jacob Lebowitz
Jacob writes about fantasy sports and sports betting for RotoWire. He's always doing something sports-related whether that's playing NBA 2K, watching a football game or playing a game of pickup basketball.
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Nick was awarded the FSWA Best Podcast -- All Sports award in 2017 and 2018. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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