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Wizards/Lakers & Hornets/Jazz Parlay Preview Article


Man Crush on Kyle Guy
NBA Parlay Picks of the Day

Washington Wizards vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Tuesday, February 22, 2021 at 10 p.m. ET at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California

Missing AD and Dennis Schroder

Even before the Lakers began missing starters Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder, they were regularly struggling to cover the spread.

But now things have taken a turn for the worst: they are not only failing to cover the chalk, but failing to win games straight-up as well.

Since AD went down during the game against Denver, L.A. is 1-3 both SU and ATS. They suffered those three straight-up losses as the favored team.

On one level, AD and Schroder are important purely in terms of point production. While the former is averaging 22.5 points per game, the latter is averaging 14.2 per game. They are L.A.’s second- and third-leading scorers, respectively.

Stylistic Impact

Throughout the season, the Lakers have primarily wanted to attack the rim.

Before Schroder went down in addition to Davis, the Lakers had been averaging the ninth-most field goal attempts per game. Their offensive production was as strong as it was because L.A. was the NBA’s most efficient team at the basket.

But since Schroder and Davis began missing games, the Lakers have been attempting fewer shots at the rim where they are also less efficient.

This reduced scoring ability at the rim is to be expected because Schroder — though a guard — primarily attacked the rim as did the big man Davis.

Instead, the Lakers are more reliant now on attempting three-pointers. This increased reliance is problematic because the Lakers have never been a good shooting team.

On the season, they rank 21st in three-point percentage. Recently, L.A. has been shooting even worse than usual from behind the arc.

With less to worry about defending inside, Laker opponents can more aggressively challenge Laker scorers behind the arc where they are already weaker.

Wizards’ Defense

Season-long defensive statistics ignore the improvement that Washington has made defensively both overall and specifically in the area where the Lakers remain best at scoring.

During Washington’s ongoing four-game SU and ATS win streaks, the Wizard defensive rating is fourth-best in the NBA.

Note that the Wizards have faced teams like Houston that resemble the Lakers at least in their desire to primarily attack the rim.

The Lakers still want to mostly attack the rim in order to score. But the Wizard rim protection has stepped up.

One key figure has been Robin Lopez. But other centers are rotating into the game, staying fresh, and playing a lot better.

Since February 14, when its win and cover streaks began, Washington is allowing the fewest field goal attempts per game within five feet of the basket. This close to the basket, the Wizards are also allowing the sixth-lowest field goal percentage.

Wizard Offense vs. Laker Defense

After beating Boston 104-91, the Wizards have scored 131 against Houston, 130 against Denver, and 118 against Portland.

Offensively, the Wizards are more effective because Russell Westbrook is sharing the basketball more.

Despite being thought of as a notorious ball-hog, Westbrook is accruing more assists per game while sacrificing enough of his scoring production to help Washington become more efficient overall on offense.

Of course, NBA scoring-leader Bradley Beal is doing his thing while other Wizard players are stepping up.

As measured by field goal attempts per game, Washington is attacking a lot more inside where the Lakers have become weaker without elite rim protector Davis.

In particular, Westbrook is an explosive rim-attacker. Beal is also someone who can put his head down, embrace contact, and apply a variety of moves in order to produce a propitious look at the basket.

Charlotte Hornets vs. Utah Jazz
Monday, February 21, 2021 at 9 p.m. ET at Vivint Smart Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah

Utah’s Three-Pointers

Utah relies heavily on converting three-point attempts. It attempts the second-most three-pointers per game.

For Utah, this reliance is a good thing because it owns the NBA’s fourth-highest three-point percentage.

Partly why the Jazz are so successful from three is their ability to generate open and wide-open looks where the defender nearest the shot-taker remains at least four feet away.

One thing that Utah will do is space the floor. Individuals will drive or otherwise manipulate defenders while possessing both sufficient vision to see an open teammate behind the arc and sufficient passing ability to quickly distribute the ball to the other side of the court.

Different kinds of ball-screens and dribble-handoffs provide for Utah additional sources of open looks behind the arc.

Hornets Perimeter Defense

Utah’s three-point shooting ability is decisive today because of how poor the Hornet perimeter defense is.

Charlotte allows the 10th-highest frequency of open three-point attempts and the highest frequency of wide open ones.

Bad rotations, poor organization, and other elements of bad defense contribute to Charlotte’s vulnerability against three-point shooters.

So the Jazz, who are already good at generating open looks, will have a field day particularly against Charlotte’s perimeter defense.

Hornets’ Offensive Woes

Half-court offense is a problem for the Hornets.

They rank in the bottom half in shooting percentage despite their ability to accrue a lot of points in transition.

The thing is, relying on points in transition is problematic against a Jazz defense that is great at limiting field goal attempts in transition. The Jazz allow the sixth-fewest points in transition per game.

Jazz players will get back on defense — even though they are very successful at crashing the glass for offensive rebounds — and identify their man. They’ve also been better about avoiding turnovers.

Charlotte Half-Court Offense vs. Jazz Defense

With reduced effectivity in transition, the Hornets will be more confined to scoring in the half-court.

To their credit, they do have a nice-looking shot profile based on where the analytics say to attempt more shots. They attempt a lot of shots at the rim or from the three-point line.

But besides being inefficient, Charlotte must contend with a Utah defense that is geared against offenses with analytically sound shot profiles.

The Jazz have an elite rim protector in two-time Defensive Player of the Year award winner Rudy Gobert.

Gobert’s rim-protecting ability limits opponents’ efficiency at the rim.

Also, with Gobert behind them, other Jazz defenders will guard more aggressively along the perimeter where they allow the lowest frequency of open three-point attempts and the fifth-lowest frequency of wide open ones.

The Verdict

Washington and L.A. are trending in different directions as each team’s most recent ATS and SU streaks show. These trends will continue until oddsmakers account for personnel factors for both teams, which they aren’t close to doing.

The Wizards’ improvement in scoring at the rim and in protecting the rim and L.A.’s regression in both areas make the Wizards a live dog tonight.

Already a cover machine in general, Utah will do what it wants to do offensively — and do it well — against Charlotte’s poor perimeter defense.

Confining the Hornet offense to the half-court, Utah will secure the cover with its top-level rim protection and perimeter defense.

Best Bet: Parlay Wizards +6.5 at -108 & Jazz -12 at -108 at +271 odds with Heritage


Man Crush on Kyle Guy
Well I hate parlays but today I’ll do one in deference to VirginiaCavs...

I just do a parlay because i‘m assigned to. I play each one su. My bad... probably mentioned it only in the cbb or cfb forum.

Personally i‘d only do a parlay if it involved a chalky ml


Man Crush on Kyle Guy
And it would probably have been a good thing to parlay these because both bets are looking in awful shape right now :( It was such a nice run while it lasted.