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Washington Wizards at New Orleans Hornets
The Gilbert Arenas show hits Oklahoma City for the only time this season, as he and his teammates take on New Orleans. Washington has won eight of ten games behind the NBA’s second leading scorer at 30.2 points a game and faces on depleted Hornets roster devoid of many scoring options.
Arenas is the ringleader of the second highest scoring team in the league at 108.2 PPG, as they are among the better shooting teams at 46.3%. Where Washington has improved to just be a game behind, division leader Orlando in the Southeast is taking the ball to the rim with greater authority. The Wizards are second in the NBA in free throw attempts. Washington knows they can not depend of the former Arizona guard to bail them out all the time either. In last win over Chicago he scored only 20 points, as five other Wizards players scored in double figures and Caron Butler recorded 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. "It was a total team effort. When you have balance across the board like that, any team is difficult to beat," said Antonio Daniels, who matched a season high with 15 points. "Gil can't score 40 points every night, so that's the job of other people.”
New Orleans won for just the third time in a month at Atlanta 96-77 this past Wednesday. The Hornets are without their three leading scorers in Chris Paul, Peja Stojakovic and David West, as well as top reserve Bobby Jackson. Coach Byron Scott is hoping West and Jackson can be back before the end of the month. The catalyst Paul is looking more like his return will not be until just before or after the All-Star game. With all the misfortune for New Orleans this year maybe the Hornet mascot should be replace by a caduceus.
Washington is a 7.5-point favorite at Sportsbook.com, based on their ability to score and New Orleans inability to do the same. What is frightening about the Wizards is they can trick you in such a role with since they are dead last in points allowed at 106.7. Washington is 6-11 on the road with an 8-8-1 against-the-spread record and they are 3-3 against-the-spread as away favorite.
New Orleans is 2-8 and 4-6 against-the-spread as home underdog. They have excelled against the Eastern Conference with 11-2 against-the-spread record. The downside is the Hornets are miserable 19-38 against-the-spread after a win by 10 points or more over the last decade.
Tipoff is set for 8 Eastern on ESPN as part of doubleheader Friday. Utilize the NBA Betting Odds page to study the wagering habits of others on this and the rest of NBA games.
About the Author: Bob is an experienced sports writer and handicapper who has written for the sports industry for over a decade. He has been a regular contributer to Sports Scene, a sports consultant for television's 33 Made and other major motion pictures.