Cavaliers, Spurs ‘under’ the Bloated TNT Total the NBA Pick

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, March 12, 2015 6:43 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 12, 2015 6:43 PM UTC

Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Thursday.


As oftentimes happens with national TV games, there could be an inflated total Thursday night when LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers (41-25, 17-16 away) pay a visit to the San Antonio Spurs (40-23, 24-7 home) at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX at 9:35 ET in a game televised nationally on TNT.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 208½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

Cavaliers Now Second Seed
The Cavaliers may have gotten off to a slow start this season while breaking in new personnel including James’s homecoming, but Cleveland has turned things around by going 22-5 over the last 27 games to go from a sub-.500 team to the second seed in the Eastern Conference, albeit 10 games behind the top seeded Atlanta Hawks. Moreover the Cavaliers are the current favorites to represent the East in the NBA Finals.

The Spurs meanwhile did not have the greatest of starts while trying to defend their NBA title, but much of that had to do with missing star players due to injuries. Things have started to get back to normal lately with San Antonio having its full allotment of players, and thus the Spurs have now been the winning NBA picks in six straight games while going 5-1 ATS in this span, just missing in the lone ATS loss in a 120-111 win vs. Denver as 11-point favorites.

Cleveland Will Probably Not Match Dallas Explosion
Now, oddsmakers are oftentimes able to pad the totals on these NBA on TNT Thursday matchups in anticipation of higher than usual volume, with the bulk of those extra wagers being place by “square” bettors on the ‘over’. And on top of that natural TNT inflation, this total may have gotten another bump by the Cavaliers scoring 127 points in a 33-point road win over the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday.

However, that was the second highest point total of the season for the Cavaliers behind only a 129-point outburst vs. the Charlotte Hornets on January 23rd, and Cleveland shot 44-for-87, 50.6 percent from the field including 15-for-32, 46.9 percent from beyond the three-point arc vs. a Dallas team that is 20th in the NBA in points against and 28th out of 30 teams in three-point defense.

The Cavaliers do not figure to match that shooting performance here tonight, not only because of a natural “bounce” but also because they are facing a much better defense.

Spurs Underrated Defensively
In fact, the Spurs are often underrated defensively with much of the attention being centered on an offense that has quickened its pace immensely in recent years under Coach Gregg Popovich. That is one of the reasons why San Antonio is averaging 101.6 points per game again this year, although that only ranks 11th in the NBA. Then again, keep in mind it took a while for the Spurs to get their projected lineup on the court at the same time.

But what is being overlooked is that the Spurs are eighth in the NBA in points against at 97.4 per game, and because of the fast pace, the defense has actually been better than that ranking fifth in the league in defensive efficiency grading out at 99.9 points allowed per 100 possessions. That makes San Antonio one of only five teams in the league allowing less than one point per possession.

As for the San Antonio offense, it could potentially take a bit of a hit here as the ageless Tim Duncan hyper-extended his left elbow Tuesday night vs. the Toronto Raptors. Granted he is currently listed as Probable, but just how effective he will be remains questionable and Popovich may elect to limit his minutes a bit.

First Meeting Saw Just 182 Points
Finally, these teams produces just 182 points when the Spurs won 92-90 in Cleveland the first time they met this season, with the San Antonio defense limiting LeBron to 15 points on 6-of-17 shooting.

Add this all up and this total may be a bit too high, giving value to the ‘under’ when Cleveland visits San Antonio on Thursday.

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NBA Pick: Cavaliers, Spurs ‘under’ 208½ (-105)


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