(Editor's note: This preview's Against the Spread and Over/Under picks were published prior to Sunday afternoon's news that James Harden will not play in tonight's game. The Player Prop Pick was added after the Harden announcement.)
Sunday's NBA betting slate brings yet another painful dirge for the Oklahoma City Thunder's former precocious superstar trio of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, as the three (possibly) take to the court together. For other teams.
But while Durant and Harden still buoy the Brooklyn Nets among the NBA's elite, Westbrook has been massively inefficient for the utter dumpster-fire Washington Wizards.
Join us as we break down the NBA odds with our best Nets vs. Wizards picks and predictions for Sunday, January 31 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Brooklyn Nets at Washington Wizards Betting Preview
Nets: James Harden G (Out)
Wizards: Raul Neto G (Questionable)
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Betting Trend to Know
Wizards are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall. Find more NBA betting trends for Nets vs. Wizards.
NBA Sharp Money and Line Movement ReportBy Patrick Everson
Brooklyn opened a 9-point chalk at FanDuel and steadily fell throughout the day to -6, due to the news that James Harden will sit out for the Nets tonight. As of 4:30 p.m. ET, the Nets are still getting 87 percent of bets and 88 percent of money on the spread. The total bounced from 244 to 245.5, then down to 243.5, but it's been at 245.5 all afternoon. That's despite ticket count and money running 2/1 on the Under.Check out the full line movement for this game
Against the Spread (ATS) Pick
It's easy to be blinded by the lights of Brooklyn's recent James Harden acquisition (although he's questionable for tonight), now with a seemingly unstoppable offense featuring three of the NBA's most absolutely elite one-on-one scorers.
But as much as it might be topical and fan-service to go on about the Nets, this pick is really about fading the Wizards, who are an absolute disaster right now.
Washington is 3-12 SU on the season, now sole owners of the worst record in the entire NBA. They're completely incapable of stopping other teams from scoring (28th in defensive rating), and compound that deficiency by playing at the NBA's fastest pace.
Things have only gotten worse recently. The Wiz have dropped their last four games by an average margin of 18.25, while Bradley Beal appears to be visibly dying more inside with each mounting loss.
The way the Wizards are playing right now, in this matchup, the books would have to toss out a complete troll of a spread for us to even think about backing Washington. Even if Harden sits, this should be a cakewalk for BK.
PREDICTION: Brooklyn -7.5 (-110)
Want to hear a fun trend? The Nets are 14-1 O/U since a New Year's Day loss to Atlanta came in 35 points below the total. Books have ratcheted up their totals accordingly, especially after the Harden deal, but again, they'd almost have to be trolling to set this high enough.
The Nets have been barbecuing opponents all season, and the Wizards' fast-paced, defense-absent style plays right into Brooklyn's hands and sets the tone for a shootout.
For their part, the Wiz are still 9-6 to the Over this season after recent games against Under-magnets Houston and Atlanta. While 244 is a pretty lofty total, it's one that Washington has already eclipsed five times this season.
If you factor in the Durant-Westbrook-Harden dynamic of petty stars with massive egos showing out for their former running mates, even the intangible points to an Over. This could be one of the highest-scoring games of the year, and the Wizards getting blown out is our only concern here.
PREDICTION: Over 244 (-110)
Player Prop Pick
Despite Kyrie Irving being his usual petulant self this season, there's no denying that he's been awesome when actually playing basketball.
Since returning from his sabbatical, or whatever the hell it was, Irving's been averaging 28.33 points on 55% shooting, while having his touches cannibalized by Harden's mere presence.
With The Beard and his heavy usage on the sideline, it's entirely likely that Kyrie goes off, now able to call his own number more frequently again.
Playing against a highly-suspect defensive backcourt in a fast-paced game will do the same wonders for him eclipsing the 27.5 total as we noted in the Over pick above. Kevin Durant's points Over could be tempting, but he's juiced heavily at -177. We get Irving at a clean -110 somehow below his post-Harden output.
PREDICTION: Kyrie Irving Over 27.5 points (-110)
Nets vs Wizards Betting Card
- Brooklyn -7.5 (-110)
- Over 244 (-110)
- Kyrie Irving Over 27.5 points (-110)
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