Pick 'n' roll: Wednesday's best basketball bets

Jan 18, 2011 |

Washington Wizards at Milwaukee Bucks (-7, 185) odds provided by logans

Enough is enough for the Washington Wizards.

The Wiz have won four straight games at home and bagged back-to-back victories in their last two outings, most recently knocking off the Utah Jazz, 108-101, as 4.5-point home underdogs.

But hanging over Washington’s head is that goose egg in the road wins column. The Wizards are 0-19 away from the Verizon Center with a 5-14 mark against the spread. They haven’t covered in their last four road games, but seemed determined to snap that skid Wednesday night.

"The most important thing is getting passed it and trying to get that zero to a one, getting better and better and improving," forward Andray Blatche told the Washington Post. "I don't know if we just don't believe in ourselves on the road and lose focus. I don't know if it's because we haven't won a game on the road and we use that as an excuse. I don't know what it is, but we have to figure out what it is and change that."

Washington averages 94.4 points per road game, compared to 99.4 at home, and allows opponents to score an average of 102.4 points against while in rival arenas – which is the same amount it gives up as in D.C.

"We've got to set goals and set goals to try to make the playoffs," newly-acquired forward Rashard Lewis told reporters. "We're four or five games out of it and we can set that goal to reach it. Anything can happen, but you've got to stay positive."

Wednesday’s game in Milwaukee may just be the right spot for the lukewarm Wizards. The Bucks are mired in a nasty skid, having lost three straight and eight of their last 10 contests.

Pick: Washington


Duke Blue Devils at North Carolina State Wolfpack (+10, 151) odds provided by logans

The defending national champs have proven to be human in recent weeks, dropping from their No. 1 ranking and failing to cover the spread in three straight outings.

The Duke Blue Devils are 2-1 SU in that span, defeating Virginia (+21.5) by only four points and Maryland (+14.5) by just seven points on January 9. Sandwiched in between those slight wins is a 66-61 loss to Florida State (+7).

That has the Wolfpack licking their chops heading into Wednesday’s North Carolina rivalry. NC State is happy to be home after two straight ACC road losses and is hoping to build on its recent history against the Blue Devils.

"Morale is good, effort is good, and the energy is good," head coach Sidney Lowe told the News Observer following his team’s loss to FSU. "They're certainly disappointed in the loss, but they understand we really have a lot of games to go, and things can happen."

The Wolfpack have played their state neighbors tough in recent years, posting a 2-3 record versus Duke since March 2007, with a 4-1 mark against the spread in that span. North Carolina State defeated the Blue Devils 88-74 as an 11.5-point home favorite in their most recent clash, back in January of last year.

Pick: North Carol

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