Phoenix Suns vs. Washington Wizards: Spread, Line, Odds, Predictions, Picks and Betting Preview
PHOENIX SUNS VS. WASHINGTON WIZARDS GAME INFORMATION
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Venue: Capital One Arena
TV Coverage: League Pass
PHOENIX SUNS VS. WASHINGTON WIZARDS MONEYLINE, SPREAD, TOTAL, AND ODDS
Moneyline: Suns -230 | Wizards +190
Spread: Suns -5.5
NBA Championship Odds: Suns +3600 | Wizards +1600
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PHOENIX SUNS VS. WASHINGTON WIZARDS NEWS AND NOTES
The Wizards are dealing with two key injuries currently. Russell Westbrook has already been ruled out vs. the Wizards, which will mark his second consecutive missed game. He’s currently dealing with a quad injury, which means Raul Neto will likely make his third start of the season. Neto has done an admirable job filling in for Westbrook, but it’s still a huge downgrade: The Wizards’ Net Rating has decreased by -6.8 points per 100 possessions with Neto on the court this season.
Additionally, Thomas Bryant has been ruled out for the rest of the year after suffering a torn ACL. The Wizards don’t have a ton of depth in their frontcourt, so that could be a huge blow. Robin Lopez started the second half of Saturday’s game in place of Bryant, and the Wizards’ Net Rating has decreased by -17.9 points per 100 possessions with Lopez on the court. That puts him in the 10th percentile for qualified players this season per Cleaning the Glass.
The positive news for the Wizards is that Bradley Beal is expected to return to the lineup. He missed their last game due to health and safety protocols, but he’s been removed from the injury report ahead of Monday’s game. He’ll have to carry a herculean effort to keep this game competitive with his star teammate sidelined.
On the other side, the Suns enter this game essentially at full strength. Cameron Payne is doubtful and Jalen Smith will likely miss his third-straight due to health and safety protocols, but neither player is an important part of the Suns’ rotation.
PHOENIX SUNS VS. WASHINGTON WIZARDS PREVIEW AND PICK
It’s tough to see how the Wizards will keep this game competitive. The Suns are the vastly superior team – they rank fourth in Net Rating and have won seven of their first 10 games – and they also have a huge edge from a health perspective.
The scariest part about the Suns is that they haven’t even gotten much production from Chris Paul. He’s struggled mightily shooting the basketball this season, shooting just 42.9% from the field and 29.6% from 3-point range. He was at 48.9% and 36.5% in those areas last season, so he has some room for improvement moving forward. If that happens, this team could enter the conversation as a real threat to make a deep playoff run.
As for this contest, the injury to Westbrook might not be as big as it seems. His efficiency as a scorer continues to plummet on a yearly basis – he’s shooting just 37.8% from the field and 30.3% from 3-point range – but the Wizards don’t have any competent replacements. Funneling more usage to Beal in place of Westbrook will likely help their offense, but one guy can only do so much.
The injury to Bryant is the real backbreaker. He’s given the Wizards some quality minutes this season, averaging 14.3 points and 6.1 rebounds over 27.1 minutes per game. He’s also been extremely efficient offensively, shooting 64.8% from the field and 42.9% from 3-point range.
Bryant being out of the lineup means more minutes for Lopez, Mo Wagner, and Anzejs Pasecniks, and all three represent significant downgrades.
I’m expecting the Suns to take care of business in this matchup.
The Pick: Suns -5.5