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Sportsbook odds for Wizards to win NBA title going up

Sportsbook odds for Wizards to win NBA title going up

The 28-20 Wizards continue to climb the ladder in the standings and the sportsbook Bovada is taking notice. According to their latest release of betting odds, the Wizards have significantly improved their chance to win the NBA championship.

On Jan. 3, Bovada had the Wizards with the 20th-best odds of winning it all, same as the lowly Los Angeles Lakers. Now, just one month later, the Wizards are tied for the eighth-best odds, same as the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Here are Bovada's current title odds: 

Golden State Warriors                          5/7
Cleveland Cavaliers                             13/5
San Antonio Spurs                               15/2
Los Angeles Clippers                           14/1
Houston Rockets                                  16/1
Toronto Raptors                                    25/1
Boston Celtics                                      33/1
Oklahoma City Thunder                       66/1
Utah Jazz                                              66/1
Washington Wizards                             66/1

Since the morning of Jan.3, when Bovada put out those odds, the Wizards have gone 12-3. They have moved all the way up to fourth in the East and currently sit just 1 1/2 games out of third and two games out of the No. 2 seed.

[RELATED: Wizards, Caps end month undefeated at Verizon Center]

Bovada has the Wizards tied for fourth among teams chasing an Eastern Conference title:

Cleveland Cavaliers                   2/7
Toronto Raptors                         6/1
Boston Celtics                            9/1
Atlanta Hawks                           22/1
Washington Wizards                  22/1

Both of those sets of odds reflect well on the Wizards, but there are a few categories they may feel slighted in. For one, the Wizards have the second-best odds to win their division despite currently sitting in first place ahead of the Hawks. The Wizards, in fact, have not won a division in 37 years which is the longest drought among all NBA teams:

Atlanta Hawks                           10/11
Washington Wizards                  1/1
Charlotte Hornets                       16/1
Miami Heat                            Off the Board
Orlando Magic                       Off the Board

The other category the Wizards may have a bone to pick with is MVP odds. John Wall is now off the board with James Harden, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard leading the charge.

[RELATED: Marcin Gortat excited for upcoming Polish Heritage Night]

 

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Wizards vs. Heat: TV channel, Time, Live stream, how to watch

Wizards vs. Heat: TV channel, Time, Live stream, how to watch

The Wizards snapped a three-game losing streak with a nice win over the Pistons on Martin Luther King Day. 

They won't be able to celebrate for long though as they hit the road to play an extremely good Miami Heat team just a couple of weeks after the Wizards beat them without Bradley Beal. 

Can Washington shock everyone once again and continue to play their best against great teams? Here's what you need to know to watch and find out. 

WIZARDS vs. HEAT HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. Miami, Game 43

Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami FL

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Wizards vs. Heat will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Heat on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. HEAT TV SCHEDULE

6:30 PM: Wizards Outsiders

7:00 PM: Wizards Pregame Live 

7:30 PM: Wizards vs. Heat

10:00 PM: Wizards Postgame Live 

10:30 PM: D.C. Sports Live 

11:00 PM: Wizards Talk 

WIZARDS vs. HEAT INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: Rui Hachimura (OUT, groin), Garrison Mathews (OUT, ankle), Moe Wagner (OUT, ankle),  John Wall (OUT, Achilles)

Heat: Jimmy Butler (Day-to-day, hip), Justise Winslow (OUT, back)

 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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Why Wizards point guard Ish Smith purposefully never dunks in games

Why Wizards point guard Ish Smith purposefully never dunks in games

WASHINGTON -- Go to a Washington Wizards game these days and you may see point guard Ish Smith do many things. He has a mean crossover, is shooting threes like never before in his career and he's a blur up and down the court.

What you will basically never see Smith do is dunk. He hasn't thrown one down in a game since the 2017-18 season. He dunked twice that year, down from four times the season before and down from his career-high of eight the year before that.

Smith has basically eliminated dunking from his game. It's not that he can't, he just chooses not to. And it's for a good reason.

Now in his 10th NBA season, Smith believes the wear-and-tear that comes with dunking isn't worth it at this point.

"I'm saving my legs," he told NBC Sports Washington. "I was watching something and Steve Nash was talking about how he played when he got older - on the ground, pretty much on land. He was preserving his energy because he moved a lot, cut a lot [with] ball-handling and different things like that. I try to preserve all that."

Smith, 31, has achieved a rare level of longevity in the NBA. He went undrafted in 2010, yet has lasted a decade in the NBA as a 6-foot tall point guard. The Wizards are his 11th team, one off the NBA record.

There is an old adage in the NBA that each dunk takes a game off your career. Many things can happen when players are high up in the air and risking contact, but also the simple act of jumping and landing can take its toll on joints and ligaments.

Smith has carved out the career he has by making sacrifices, and that includes dunking. Even when he is alone on a fastbreak, he will just lay it in.

"Yeah, you get breakout layups and stuff like that," he said. "I guess because I have done it, but it's not as tempting as used to be. It's just like get these two points and get back."

When he was younger, Smith would dunk when he had the opportunity. Now he says he's kind of over it.

"I had some dunk-ons [back in the day]. But as I got older, I realized it ain't all that," he said.

Smith now prides himself on a wide array of release angles on layups around the rim. He can finish with his right and left hand, in traffic and off-balance. He can double-clutch and use the glass.

Smith has a way of sneaking under bigger defensive players and timing layups to avoid blocked shots. It's a big part of his game.

But maybe someday soon we will see Smith dunk again in a game. Perhaps he will do so, just to show everyone he's still got it.

"[I dunked] the other day when we were in Toronto, after practice," he said. "After that, I was like 'oh no, I don't know why I did that.'"

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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