The Washington Wizards' most recent season did not unfold according to plan, rendering them a tough betting play on all possible fronts. They were supposed to emerge as one of the Eastern Conference's foremost contenders—a squad worthy of making an Eastern Conference Finals push and potentially convincing Kevin Durant to spurn the Oklahoma City Thunder in free agency. Instead, they missed the playoffs altogether and are now left to pick up the pieces of a disappointing season punctuated by an incomplete team.
Sportsbettors should approach this team with caution as a result. The Wizards have a new coach in Scott Brooks, but he is not a brilliant tactician. They hovered around the bottom 10 in offensive efficiency during the regular season and barely finished in the top half of the NBA in points allowed per 100 possessions.
That cannot happen. It means the Wizards don't have an identity. And that's troubling, even when you acknowledge that they were undergoing a stylistic shift, one that compromised their once stingy defense with smaller lineups.
Fortunately for the Wizards, and for those who wish to bet on them, they have an intriguing core around which they can continue building.
John Wall is one of the best players in the NBA, bar none. Bradley Beal, a restricted free agent who is expected to stick with Washington, still has a superstar ceiling, even if his play has peaked over the last two seasons.
Otto Porter can still turn into an effective combo forward. Kelly Oubre Jr. didn't do much as a rookie but remains a viable first round prospect. And Marcin Gortat, while older, is a fantastic complement to Wall as a pick-and-roll finisher.
Nevertheless, for the Wizards to be more than a low-end playoff or divisional futures plays, they need to effectively retool and restructure over the offseason.
Washington Wizards Betting Lines Today
All of the betting information for the Washington Wizards next game can be found here. Our view gives you tip off times, spreads, moneylines, overs and unders all in one place.
Broken record style, make sure to return here before actually placing any bets, just in case the lines move. It doesn't happen often in the NBA during the regular seaosn, but it's a possibility—especially if a key player's status for the game in question is left up in the air.
Protect yourself against unnecessary surprise changes by bookmarking this page and making it a must visit spot before every Wizards contest.
Here is a look at the Washington Wizards' entire schedule. It includes glances at both forthcoming games and past scores, the latter of which is particularly useful for futures bettors.
By looking at scores against previous opponents, you are able to uncover certain trends that clue you in on how to bet future matchups.
Have the Wizards struggled against strong offensive or defensive squadrons? How are they faring against the overs and unders? Do they perform okay on the road? Are they a borderline sure bet at home? What is their record against Eastern Conference foes? And how about Western Conference rivals?
Use any or all of this information when the situation calls for it. Doing so makes profiting off the Wizards' play, for better or worse, that much more likely.
Washington Wizards Standings Right Now
Take this look at the Washington Wizards' place in the standings and use it to bolster your wagers on midseason futures. How so? Good question.
If you see that the Wizards are hanging tough in their division, the Eastern Conference and/or relative to the rest of the NBA, you'll know what, if any, futures you should bet on. Compare their records to established plays in those categories, and you'll be sitting pretty.
For example, if the Wizards rank in the top four of the Eastern Conference, you know that their conference championship odds are worth a look, because they are at least on the bubble of that discussion.
You can apply this logic to every type of future bets imaginable, including win totals. So don't underestimate the usefulness of staying on top of Washington's place in the stanidngs.
How To Win At Betting On Washington Wizards
Very rarely does a fringe playoff team like the Washington Wizards have the chance to become an everything bet—from individual games and win total wagers, to Eastern Conference and NBA Finals plays—almost overnight. But this particular squad is the exception.
Signing Kevin Durant is a pipe dream at this point. It always was. But now it's pretty much out of the question.
Even so, the Wizards have a unique opportunity to land top tier talent in free agency without breaking up their current core. They can carve out max contract space fairly easily, even after dealing for Markieff Morris at last season's trade deadline.
Washington can then chase a max level star, such as Nicolas Batum, with that money, or it can divvy up that spending power among a few high impact players. Think along the lines of trying to sign both Ryan Anderson and Allen Crabbe.
And because the Wizards delayed offering Bradley Beal a new contract last fall, his cap hold will be minimal until he signs a new contract. So, theoretically, they can burn through their cap space, adding other helping hands, and then rise over the league's $92 million salary threshold to re-sign him.
This scenario essentially allows the Wizards to make measurable improvements on top of what they already have, rather than jumping through a ton of financial hoops that cost them incumbent talent.
In the event they add between one and three high end names, in addition to retaining Beal, they instantly become everything plays. You just need to wait until all the necessary free agency dominoes fall before making such investments.
For all the Washington Wizards could potentially do over the offseason, one of their current players stands to impact their appeal at everyday and futures bets more than any other factor. And it's not John Wall.
It's Bradley Beal.
You know what you are getting from Wall. He is a patented superstar. Beal is the wild card. He is about to get paid like a superstar without carrying the same clout.
If the Wizards are to not only return to the playoffs, but emerge as conference title and NBA Finals plays, he has to successfully make that journey into superstardom next season. There are no exceptions.
On many levels, Beal is right there. He is already a terrific scorer. He drains three pointers at insanely high rates, and he has started avoiding those low percentage mid range looks that have become taboo in today's NBA.
But his value as a passer must increase. Unless the Wizards go out and get another point guard to spell Wall (unlikely), Beal should be their second best playmaker.
Beal's defense must also improve. He stands out at a very shallow shooting guard position, but the Wizards will use him at small forward as they continue investing in small ball lineups. And some of the best scorers in the game are located at the 3 these days.
If the Wizards intend to be among the top defensive teams, while deploying a respectable offense that finishes in the top 12 or so of points scored per 100 possessions, it starts with Wall. But it ends with Beal.
And should he morph into the superstar he's supposed to be, the Wizards will need to be on your midseason radar as high end Eastern Conference title plays and lower end NBA championship wagers.