Feb 20th NBA Action: Washington Wizards @ Portland Trail Blazers
Season-to-date record: 39-40-2, 49%
A sell high opportunity for Washington: Trail Blazers -3 -120
We jumped on the Blazers -3 (-120) last night on the basis of a historically profitable system predicated on identifying situations where bad teams are likely to exhibit their true form. The betting line has since been pushed up to -4.5, as while a slim majority (52%) of public bets are supporting the resurgent Wizards, 84% of dollars bet against the spread are down on Portland. We still regard the Blazers as playable, despite the widened spread.
Fading three-game (or more) win streaks by teams that did not make an appearance in the last playoffs has been a winning long-term strategy versus teams from an other division that did see the prior post-season.
This simple approach has delivered a 9% long-term return on investment (ROI) since 2005, with only three seasons with a cover rate below 50%. This system is 8-6-1 ATS so far this year.
After opening the year by collecting only six wins in their first 23 games, the Wiz have since enjoyed a bit of a reprieve from losing--in the form of a three-game win/cover streak. Washington's level of competition steps up materially tonight though, as the 18-10 Blazers have played appreciably better than the Celtics, Rockets and Nuggets (who amassed a combined record of 39-40 up to the point of their recent meetings with the Wizards). Portland ranks among the top-ten teams in the NBA by SU record, SU record at home, and overall ATS record.
Thus, we expect tonight's action at Portland represents a solid opportunity to bet on Washington to revert to the basketball identity it has diligently established over the last couple of months, notwithstanding the action of the prior several days. This means we regard the Wizards' recently improved play as unsustainable, and are comfortable backing the Blazers to cover.