Washington will try to snap a two-game losing streak when it travels to Oklahoma City on Friday night. The Wizards have now dropped four of their last five games after getting blown out at New Orleans on Wednesday. Oklahoma City is on a four-game skid and could be without its top player (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) in this game.
Wizards looking to snap out of funkWashington got off to an excellent start this season, using a five-game winning streak to improve to 10-3 midway through November. The Wizards have entered their first losing slump of the year, losing four of their last five games. Their lone win came in the second game of a back-to-back against Miami on Saturday. They were unable to build on that momentum, losing to Charlotte and New Orleans in their last two games. Washington was a 3.5-point favorite against New Orleans, but it was blown out in a 127-102 final.
The Wizards have not been a great offensive team, ranked No. 22 with 105.6 points per game. Shooting guard Bradley Beal leads the way with 23.3 points and 5.8 assists per contest. Center Montrezl Harrell has been excellent off the bench, scoring 17.1 points per game. He is also second on the team in rebounding (9.0 RPG), despite coming off the bench in 15 of the 18 games this season. Point guard Spencer Dinwiddie is scoring 14.9 points, while small forward Kyle Kuzma is adding 13.1 points. They are going to face an Oklahoma City defense that is No. 16, allowing 106.2 points per game.
Thunder could be without Gilgeous-AlexanderOklahoma City has now gone through multiple four-game losing streaks this season. It started the year on a four-game skid and is currently on another one. The Thunder have dropped six of their last seven games overall, with the one win coming against Houston last Wednesday. They have played four tough opponents since then, falling to Milwaukee, Boston, Atlanta and Utah. This is an opportunistic schedule coming up, though, as Oklahoma City has two games against Houston next week. The Thunder have only been favored in one game this season, which was the win over the Rockets.
They have been an atrocious offensive team this season, averaging just 99.0 points per game. Their game plan runs through point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is scoring 20.4 points and grabbing 5.1 rebounds per game. He has missed the last two games due to an ankle injury and is officially listed as questionable for this one. If Gilgeous-Alexander is unable to go, small forward Lu Dort will carry the weight of the load. He is averaging 17.1 points per game. Shooting guard Josh Giddey is the only other player in double figures, scoring 10.8 points and pulling down 5.6 rebounds. He is going to face a Washington defense that is No. 10, allowing 105.0 points per game.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Oddsmakers have not released a line for this game due to the Gilgeous-Alexander injury. Oklahoma City relies on one player more than any team in the NBA, so the “questionable” status makes this game very tricky. The Thunder are not going to be able to compete in this game if their superstar is out. I like Washington to win this game regardless, as it is the much better all-around team and is not dealing with key injuries. The Wizards will use their defense to snap their losing skid on Friday night.
Full-Game Total Pick
These teams have been trending in a similar direction as far as the total is concerned. They are both strong defensive teams, but the offense has been sketchy at best. Oklahoma City has gone under in nine of its last 13 games and its offense will really be hurt if Gilgeous-Alexander is out. Washington is even better on the defensive end, going under the total in nine of its last 11 games. I am not expecting a high-scoring game between these teams on Friday night.