The Washington Wizards face a road-heavy stretch to end the regular season, and it begins Saturday against the host Cleveland Cavaliers. The contest is the opener of a five-game road trip as the Wizards play eight of their final 10 games away from home.
Washington resides in third place in the Eastern Conference, one game ahead of Toronto, and clinched a playoff berth with Friday’s 129-108 home victory over Brooklyn. “It’s great,” All-Star point guard John Wall told reporters. “The way we dealt with last year wasn’t good for us. We wanted to go to the playoffs. We fell short of that. The way we started this season (2-8) wasn’t the way we wanted. … We all stayed together as a team. That’s the most important thing.” The Cavaliers lead the East by one game over Boston after registering a 112-105 win at Charlotte on Friday. Cleveland posted a 140-135 overtime victory over the Wizards on Feb. 6 in the most recent meeting as Cavaliers superstar LeBron James recorded 32 points and a career-best 17 assists while Washington guard Bradley Beal poured in 41 points.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington), FSN Ohio (Cleveland)
LINE HISTORY: The Wizard opened as 2-point road favorites over the Cavaliers and a questionable LeBron James. The total hit the betting board at 215 and neither number has yet to move. Check out the complete line history here.
Washington – No injuries to report
Cleveland – SF LeBron James (Questionable, eye)
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Wizards (-4.9) – Cavaliers (—6.5) + home court (-3) = Cavaliers -4.6
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (44-28 SU, 37-34-1 ATS, 45-27 O/U): Washington has posted a 9-5 record this month and is averaging a solid 122 points per contest, pleasing coach Scott Brooks. “We knew March was going to be pretty demanding, challenging,” Brooks told reporters after the win over the Nets. “We were hoping we were playing well at that time. We’re not playing bad.” Wall scored 22 points in 24 minutes against Brooklyn after nearly missing the game due to a migraine headache and backup Brandon Jennings picked up the slack with 18 points and nine assists.
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (47-24 SU, 32-36-3 ATS, 40-30-1 O/U): Cleveland held Charlotte to 42.2 percent shooting on Friday as the defensive charge was significantly better than it was in Wednesday’s 126-113 setback against Denver. “The effort was definitely there,” coach Tyronn Lue told reporters. “The guys took the challenge. We helped, got back out. That team shot 42 percent from the field, so the effort was great. That’s how we’ve got to play. That’s who we are.” Point guard Kyrie Irving scored 26 points, reaching 20 for a career-best 20th consecutive game and the 54th time this season.
* Wizards are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
* Cavaliers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
* Over is 10-2 in Wizards last 12 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
* Over is 13-3 in Wizards last 16 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
* Over is 5-0 in Cavaliers last 5 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days.
Check out a complete list of hot and cold trends, here.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Covers users are split 50/50 on the spread while the OVER is getting 70 percent of the totals bets. View full consensus data here.