NBA Pick on 76ers, Wizards to stay ‘under’ on MLK Day

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, January 19, 2015 4:08 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 19, 2015 4:08 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 Monday.


Expect a relatively low scoring affair Monday in one of the NBA matinees on this Martin Luther King Day when the hapless Philadelphia 76ers (8-32, 5-16 away) pay a visit to the Washington Wizards (28-13, 17-5 home) at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC at 2:05 ET in a game available on Comcast SportsNet - Philadelphia.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 191½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.

Second in Southeast and Eastern Conference
The Wizards are currently the second seeds in the Eastern Conference, and the irony there is that they do not even lead their division as they are second in the Southeast Division at five games behind the hottest team in the NBA, the top seeded 33-8 Atlanta Hawks. The Wizards have now won six of their last eight games after splitting a home-and-home series with the Nets, losing at Brooklyn Friday but then improving to 17-5 at home with a 99-90 win Saturday.

You may recall that the 76ers were the losing NBA picks in their first 17 games this season before getting their first win, but they are actually a semi-respectable 4-4 in their last eight games. The offense continues to struggle though and Philadelphia comes off of a 107-89 loss to the rejuvenated Pistons in Detroit on Saturday. This is the first meeting this season between these two teams.

Wizards Winning with Defense
The Wizards boast an MVP candidate in John Wall, who is averaging a double-double with 17.1 points and 10.0 assists this season while also leading the team with his 2.1 steals per game, but for all of Wall’s offensive heroics, it is actually the defense that has fueled the Wizards’ success this year.

Washington is only 19th in the league in scoring with its 99.2 points per game, although a lot of that has to do with playing at a slow tempo as the Wizards are ranked 25th in the NBA in Pace Rating grading out to 95.4 possessions per game. However, Washington is sixth in points against at only 97.4 per game, and while part of that is also attributable to the slow pace, that ranking is validated by ranking ninth in the league in field goal percentage allowed at only 44.3 percent.

Furthermore that scoring average against drops to a tiny 95.3 points here at the “Phone Booth”. Now, we totally get that the Wizards should be able to name the score in this game on paper, but we have no interest in giving the 14 points or so that they are favored by. But with Washington being the only team doing most of the scoring here, this ‘under’ certainly seems feasible.

Philadelphia Leading Scorer Wroten Out
Philadelphia is dead last in the NBA in scoring with its 90.4 points per game, as well as dead last in field goal percentage (41.2 percent), three-point shooting (29.7 percent) and even free throw shooting (67.8 percent), a grand slam that no team would want to strive for! Unbelievably, the 76ers have now gone 17 consecutive games without reaching 100 points, in fact topping out at just 96 points during this span!

Furthermore, the Sixers will be without their leading scorer Troy Wroten for the fourth straight game with a sprained right knee. Wroten had been averaging nearly 20 points (19.8) over his last six full games before suffering the injury vs. the Hawks on January 13th, so understandably an already sputtering offense has struggled mightily without him scoring less than 90 points in two of the three games he missed so far.

The shame there is that the Sixers have actually made some nice strides defensively, allowing only 97.0 points per game on just 42.0 percent shooting over the last five games.

An ‘under’ Series in DC
Finally and not surprisingly, the ‘under’ is now 4-1 in the last five meetings here in Washington with Philadelphia reaching 100 points just once in those meetings and Washington doing so only twice. Moreover, the four games that went ‘under’ do so easily with those games averaging a combined 184.6 points.

Look for more of the same in our nation’s capital here with Philadelphia and Washington again going ‘under’ on Monday.

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NBA Pick: 76ers, Wizards ‘under’ 191½ (-110)


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