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Feb 12th NBA Action: New York Knicks @ Washington Wizards

Season-to-date record: 35-39-1, 47%

Backing the new-look Knicks at the Wiz: New York +1

The Washington Wizards, powered by Brad Beal and Russell Westbrook, are a lowly 6-16 straight up this year, good for dead last in the Southwest Division. After recently splitting a four-game road trip, which rivaled their best stretch of basketball this season, Washington kicked off a five-game home stand Tuesday with a 22 point loss to Toronto. We expect the thumping the Wizards absorbed a couple of days ago is indicative of a reversion underway. Accordingly, we expect the Knicks to collect the cover Friday.

In line with this thinking, we note that, in general, teams in at least their second consecutive game as host, off 20-25 point losses have proven solid fades historically.

Betting against teams in this spot has delivered a 13% long term return on investment, with cover rates below 50% in only three seasons since 2004. This system is 9-5 ATS so far this year.

Also supporting the expectation for the Knicks cover, after the season starts in earnest, it has proven profitable to back bad road teams versus other bad teams from the same conference, when the spread is +1.5 points or less.

Starting around the the one-quarter mark in the regular NBA season, backing rooad favorites* has been the play in meetings between teams with win rates no better than 45%, that did not make the prior playoffs. This simple system has delivered a 14% long-term ROI, with only four sub-50% seasons since 2004 (* BetLabs definition of favorites, in this case, includes teams taking a single point).

Washington's struggles versus the number this season only buttress our conviction in the Knicks plus the point Friday. The Wizards are 9-13 versus the number, including a 6-9 ATS stint after a loss and a 3-7 run in the Wizards' Capital One Arena.

Importantly, the Wizards' Bradley Beal will sit Friday (rest). Also, Ish Smith is listed as questionable after taking a shot to the chops that caused him to exit Wednesday's game. Derrick Rose will play his second game since his return to New York.

Happy betting!!


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