The Washington Wizards take on the Portland Trail Blazers for the first time this season. Washington started its four-game road swing with back-to-back losses to the Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings. The Wizards hope to end the slump on Thursday.
The Blazers snapped a string of seven straight defeats by beating the Phoenix Suns 109-104 on Tuesday. Portland showed resilience by overcoming an injury to Shaedon Sharpe and the Suns’ 22-point lead to come out with the win. Another victory would nicely cap off their five-game homestand.
The Wizards continue to struggle with their inability to stop opponents from scoring. They have been competitive when they can string together stops. Washington will have a tough task of beating the Blazers on the road if their defense doesn’t step up.
Washington Wizards vs Portland Trail Blazers: Preview, betting tips and predictions
Teams: Washington Wizards (4-22) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (7-19)
Date and Time: Dec. 21, 2023 | 10:00 p.m. ET
Washington Wizards vs Portland Trail Blazers: Game preview
In the Wizards’ only four wins this season, they needed at least four players to hit at least 10 points.
The buckets usually come from Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Poole. If Tyus Jones, Deni Avdija and Daniel Gafford can’t support their main men, the defense usually can’t save them from a loss.
The Blazers arguably played their best game of the season when they beat the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. Every player coach Chauncey Billups called to contribute delivered with aplomb.
Anfernee Simons was superb, but Portland also got plenty of support from Deandre Ayton, Jerami Grant, Malcolm Brogdon and Scoot Henderson. They can’t overlook the Wizards and must continue to be focused and aggressive.
Washington Wizards vs Portland Trail Blazers: Starting lineups
Kyle Kuzma, Jordan Poole, Deni Avdija, Tyus Jones and Daniel Gafford are expected to be Washington’s first five.
The Blazers, meanwhile, could start Deandre Ayton, Jerami Grant, Anfernee Simons, Toumani Camara and either Malcolm Brogdon or Scoot Henderson.
Washington Wizards vs Portland Trail Blazers: Betting tips
Kyle Kuzma leads the Washington Wizards with 23.2 points per game. The over/under points prop for him is 24.5.
Bettors get -111 for over and -115 for under. Kuzma has hit over 24 points in five of his last 10 games. He’s averaging 25.5 points per game in his last four games, so the in-form forward might go over his points prop.
Anfernee Simons paces the Portland Trail Blazers with 25.4 PPG. The over/under points prop for him is 25.5.
Bettors get -105 for over and -125 for under. Portland’s athletic combo guard is averaging 26.4 ppg in December after sitting out the previous month due to an injury. He could also get over his points prop on Thursday.
Washington Wizards vs Portland Trail Blazers: Predictions
The moneyline for the Wizards is +145 while it’s -170 for the Blazers. Washington is a +4.0 underdog on the road against Portland.
The Wizards have struggled all season long on the defensive end and are just 2-14 away from Washington. Portland could defend its home court and win against the spread.