The Washington Wizards head to Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Wednesday, June 2, to take on the 76ers in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series, so here’s the best NBA betting pick for Wednesday night along with the latest lines and odds update on BetMGM Sportsbook.
The Sixers have a 3-1 lead in this series and will look to finish the job as 7-point home favorites with a total of 229.5 points. The Wizards, on the other side, are trying to become the first team ever to overcome a 3-0 deficit in the NBA Playoffs.
Washington is still alive, hoping that Joel Embiid won’t play in Game 5
The Washington Wizards beat the 76ers as 8.5-point home dogs last Monday, 122-114, to avoid a sweep and force Game 5 away from home. They took full advantage of Joel Embiid’s injury and finally played some solid defense, holding the 76ers to just 40 points in the paint and 41.7% shooting from the field.
Seven Washington players scored in double figures in Game 4 including the entire starting lineup, but Davis Bertans suffered a calf injury and won’t be available for the rest of the series. Bertans had 15 first-half points on Sunday, and the Wizards will miss his 3-point shooting a lot.
Washington lacks depth, so the Wizards can only hope that Embiid’s knee injury will force him out of Game 5. They will continue to lean heavily on Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook, but the key factor for the Wizards will be their defense. Washington has suffered a couple of heavy losses in this series, 120-95 and 132-103.
The 76ers need more from their role players
After torturing the Wizards through the first three games, Joel Embiid exited Sunday’s clash with a sore knee. He’s doubtful to play Wednesday, and the Sixers might be in trouble. Embiid scored 30 points in Game 1 and had 36 in Game 3, so the Sixers desperately need their bench players to step up.
Dwight Howard and Mike Scott combined for one point on 0-for-7 shooting from the field in Game 4. Ben Simmons posted a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds but handed out just three assists, while Tobias Harris accounted for 21 points, 13 boards, and five dimes.
Simmons and Harris will be go-to-guys in Embiid’s eventual absence, but the 76ers will need more from their bench. Also, Howard and Scott will have to contribute on the defensive end, as Philadelphia has to slow down the Wizards. The 76ers owned the second-best defensive rating in the league this past regular season, allowing 107.6 points per 100 possessions.
- 13-6-1 ATS in the last 20 games overall
- 10-4 ATS in the last 14 outings as underdogs
- 4-7 ATS in the last 11 games against Washington
Even if Joel Embiid suits up, I think he’ll be on a minute restriction, so the Wizards have an excellent chance to make this game interesting to watch. With their season on the line, I’m expecting Washington to put on a fight and keep it close down the stretch.
Simply put, the 76ers are a better team than the Wizards, but I don’t think they’ll win this game comfortably, especially if Embiid remains sidelined. The Sixers will certainly play much better defense than they did in Game 4, but without Embiid’s points (or with his limited appearance), the 76ers could struggle to beat the Wizards by ten or more points.
Pick: Washington Wizards +9.5 at -170
The Wizards play at the fastest pace in the NBA, recording 104.1 possessions per 48 minutes, while the 76ers are 11th with 99.5 possessions per 48 minutes. Three of their previous four encounters went in the over, producing more than 229 points in total each.
Hereof, I will stick with the over even though I’m expecting the Sixers to slow down things as much as they can while playing some tough defense. If Embiid doesn’t suit up, I would stick with the Wizards to cover.
Pick: Go over 229.5 points at -110