The Washington Wizards had high hopes for the 2017-18 NBA season, but they finished eighth in the Eastern Conference with a 43-39 record (23-18 at home, 20-21 on the road), eventually losing 4-2 to the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the conference playoffs. For the 2018-19 NBA season, the Wizards acquire some experience players including Dwight Howard to help John Wall and Bradley Beal, so Washington could be a pleasant surprise.
The futures and props for the Wizards are already available on BetDSI Sportsbook, so let’s see what can the bettors expect from the 2018-19 NBA season.
Washington Wizards Futures Odds
Win Total Over/Under at 44.5: Over -105; Under -115
To Win the Southeast Division at -150
To Win the Eastern Conference at +2150
To Win the NBA Championship at +10000
To Make NBA Playoffs: YES -1200, NO +700 (Bet365 Sportsbook)
Washington Wizards Player Movement
Draft: Troy Brown (No. 15 Pick), Issuf Sanon (No. 44 Pick)
Added: Jeff Green (free agency, Cleveland Cavaliers), Dwight Howard (free agency, Charlotte Hornets), Austin Rivers (trade with Los Angeles Clippers), Thomas Bryant
Lost: Marcin Gortat (traded to LA Clippers), Mike Scott (signed with LA Clippers)
Unrestricted Free Agents: Ty Lawson, Ramon Sessions, Chris McCullough, Tim Frazier
The Wizards selected the 19-year old two-way forward Troy Brown as the 15th pick overall, and the former Oregon freshman should add depth to the Wizards’ backcourt. Brown is a versatile wing capable of doing all sort of things on both ends of the floor but needs to work on his range, hitting just 29.1% of his 3-pointers at Oregon while averaging 11.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 31.2 minutes per game. Troy has a great defensive potential, so he could get some minutes as a rookie. On the other hand, Brown’s coeval Issuf Sanon is the Ukranian combo guard played in the summer league but will return to develop in Europa.
The most significant change in the Wizards’ roster in regards to the 2017-18 season is signing a free agent Dwight Howard to replace Marcin Gortat who was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for guard Austin Rivers. Dwight is far away from his best form, but he’s still a good defensive stopper, certainly better than Gortat and two years younger. Adding Howard should be a huge gamechanger for the Wizards, and the only question is Dwight’s influence in the locker room. If the coach Scott Brooks picks up the pieces and sets Dwight on the same page with John Wall, Bradley Beal and other guys, the Wizards should improve on both ends. Last year with the Hornets, Dwight Howard averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 55.5% from the field and 57.4% of his free throws. On the other side, Marcin Gortat had the worst of his five seasons with the Wizards, averaging 8.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and just 0.7 blocks per game.
The Wizards lost the power forward Mike Scott who joined Gortat in Los Angeles after playing 18.5 minutes per game and recording 8.8 points and 3.3 rebounds. Scott’s replacement is the experienced Jeff Green who had an important role in last year’s Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging 10.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in 23.4 minutes per game. Green will be a backup four, but he can also play at small forward if necessary. The combo guard Austin Rivers is another double-digit scorer who joined the team this summer, averaging 15.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in 61 games for the Los Angeles Clippers. With the Wizards, Rivers will have a solid role off the bench to support John Wall and Bradley Beal and deliver some buckets without All-Stars on the floor.
Washington Wizards 2018-19 Roster
John Wall missed a half of regular-season games last year which didn’t affect the Wizards’ performance a lot. Wall was sidelined for 27 consecutive games in February and March when the Wizards recorded 15 wins and 12 losses, while in 41 games he averaged 19.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 9.6 assists, setting his personal best with 37.1% from beyond the arc. In six playoff games against the Toronto Raptors, Wall has 26.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 11.5 assists but it wasn’t enough for the Wizards to reach the Semi-Finals. John should be pleased with adding Dwight Howard, as his game should improve around one of the best big centers in the league. The five-time All-Star and first pick from the 2010 NBA Draft will turn 28 this September and looks ready for the biggest achievements, while the odds on John Wall to win the 2018-19 NBA MVP Award are set at +7500 on BetDSI Sportsbook.
Bradley Beal was the Wizards leader during John Wall’s absence, and in 82 games in the regular season, the 25-year old guard averaged 22.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.5 assists, shooting 46.0% from the field and 37.5% from downtown. In the playoffs, he improved from beyond the arc, hitting 46.7% of his 7.5 3-pointers per game. Beal earned his first All-Star selection last year and should develop his game this summer, so the Wizards’ fans expect a lot from the 25-year old sharp-shooter. He played some minutes at point guard which helped him to become more versatile with the ball in his hands, and in 12 games in February without John Wall, Bradley Beal averaged 6.7 assists per game.
Otto Porter will be the starting small forward for the 2018-19 season, and the 3rd pick overall from the 2013 draft is still learning the game, making some improvements every year. He set his career highs with 14.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game, shooting 50.3% from the field and 44.1% from beyond the arc. Porter’s back up will be the talented 22-year old wing Kelly Oubre Jr. who had a breakthrough season last year with 11.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game on 40.3% shooting from the field.
Markieff Morris should start at power forward, entering his third season as a Wizard. Morris’ first season in Washington was better than the last one when he averaged 11.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, but his defense on the perimeter is invaluable for the Wizards. Markieff is another guy who could prosper playing alongside Dwight Howard, and these two guys should improve the Washington Wizards’ defense. The backup guard Tomas Satoransky should also develop his defensive game, and after two years in the league, he feels more comfortable on the floor.
Players Under Contract:
John Wall (PG), Austin Reevers (PG), Tomas Satoransky (PG-SG)
Bradley Beal (SG), Jodie Meeks (SG)
Otto Porter Jr. (SF), Kelly Oubre Jr. (SF), Troy Brown (SF), Jeff Green (SF-PF)
Markieff Morris (PF), Jason Smith (PF), Dwight Howard (C), Ian Mahinmi (C)
Win Total Prediction and Betting Picks
The Washington Wizards have a talented core in John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter, reaching the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals three times in the last five years, so they hope that these guys can reach the conference final soon. The bookies consider Washington as a -1200 favorite to make the NBA Playoffs for a reason, while the Wizards are first contenders to win the Southeast Division title at -150 odds. They should battle with Miami for the division title, but winning the Eastern Conference at +2150 would be something special.
After winning 43 games last season, the Wizards should improve in this term, especially if they play a better defense than last year when Washington allowed 108.7 points per 100 possessions to their opponents. The 5Dimes Sportsbook has set the lines at 44.5 games, so betting on the over should be the best pick, as the Wizards have the talent to win more, particularly if they avoid serious injuries. The coach Scott Brooks stated he wants his team to defend, play with pace, and share the basketball which all sounds great, but they will need to work hard to eventually make a run deep into the playoffs.
The Pick: Over 44.5 (-105)
Prediction: Eastern Conference First Round, 1st in Southeast Division