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.
The offensive struggles of the road team Thursday night could lead to an ‘under’ with just one team scoring much when those Utah Jazz (0-1, 0-0 away) pay a visit to the Dallas Mavericks (0-1, 0-0 home) at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX at 8:25 ET in a game available on ROOT.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 202½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -102.
Jazz on a Back-To-Back
The Jazz play the second game of a back-to-back to begin the season and they were the losing NBA picks at home to open the year last night 104-93 to the Houston Rockets, and remember that those mere 93 points came vs. a team that is not exactly renowned for its defense. The fact that it came at home made the effort more disappointing, and it is worth noting Utah averaged just 92.4 points when playing the second of back-to-back games last season!
The Mavericks retooled nicely during the off-season and they may turn out to be the biggest threats to the World Champion San Antonio Spurs in the Southwest Division before all is said and done. They did get nipped by those Spurs 101-100 in San Antonio in their season opener on Tuesday, but that was still an encouraging effort, especially on the road.
Utah Struggles to Reach 100 Points
The Jazz are coming off of a brutal 25-57 season, and frankly not much improvement is expected this year with Utah mostly lacking in talent and full of youth. Sure that young energy could lead to an upset here and there, but this remains an offensively challenged club that did not really address that issue after ranking 29th out of 30 NBA teams in scoring last year with just 95.0 points per game.
Furthermore the Jazz hired a first-time NBA head coach in Quin Snyder, who we think was vastly overrated as a college coach at Missouri. Snyder comes from the three-point shooting school of thought that says to hoist up as many good-looking three-pointers as possible with the thought that a there would be a lower field goal percentage required to run up the score. That is all well and good except the Jazz do not appear to have the roster to execute that game plan.
And last night was not a good start with Utah going 3-for-18, 16.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Dallas Defense Improved with Chandler
Now we do expect the Mavericks to score there fair share of points here, firstly because they can and secondly because the Utah defense allowed the Rockets to shoot 51.9 percent last night. However, with this total set at higher than 200, we do not think that the Mavs will be able score enough to compensate for Utah’s lack of help on the scoreboard and thus not enough to put this game ‘over’.
And also the Dallas defense should be much improved this year from the club that allowed 102.4 points per game last season, mostly due to the acquisition of Tyson Chandler, one of the premier defending centers in the NBA. That defensive improvement was not apparent vs. the Spurs because Chandler was limited to 27 minutes on the floor due to five fouls, but it should become more obvious here vs. a poor shooting team as long as he stays out of foul trouble.
An ‘under’ Series Last Season
Finally, the ‘under’ went 3-1 in the four meetings between these clubs last season with the Jazz scoring just 81 and 93 points respectively in the two meetings here in Dallas vs. a defense that was not as good as it figures to be this season.
Add this all up and look for the teams to stay ‘under’ this total in Dallas on Thursday.
NBA Pick: Jazz, Mavericks ‘under’ 202½ (-102)