NBA Pick: NBA Playoff Play of the Day Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

Tuesday, May. 6, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

Every day during the NBA Playoffs, LT Profits Sports seeks that one single playoff play that has the best chance of cashing. Here is their Playoff Play of the Day Tuesday.

In an NBA Playoffs full of upsets, underdog covers and road wins, look for form to hold up for a change Tuesday night when the fifth seeded Portland Trail Blazers (58-30, 25-19 away) pay a visit to the team with the best record in the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs (66-23, 35-10 home) for Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX at 9:35 ET in a game televised nationally on TNT.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has San Antonio as a decided favorite for this contest with the current line at -7 with odds of -103.

Sure, the Spurs were surprisingly taken to seven games by the eight-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round, but San Antonio was never in danger of losing that series until it reached Game 7, and when that happened, the “real” Spurs that finished 62-20 during the regular season stepped up. We now think that the Spurs want to get off to a better start in this series, and we look for a much deeper bench to carry them to a handy Game 1 victory.

The Blazers come off of an exciting six-game series with the Houston Rockets where three games went into overtime and Portland won the series finale 99-98 in Game 6 on a three-point basket by Damian Lillard at the final buzzer of regulation time. However, we see the fact that all those games vs. the Rockets were close as a negative considering the huge jump in class a young Portland team is making vs. the crafty, veteran Spurs here.

The whole world saw how San Antonio responded with its season on the line, as the Spurs opened up a 29-point lead en route to a coast-to-coast 119-96 blowout of the Mavericks in Game 7 Sunday, shooting an incredible 56.8 percent from the field (42-for-74) including going 10-for-24, 41.7 percent from beyond the three-point arc, while simultaneously holding Dallas to 40.9 percent shooting.

Thus, the Spurs’ defense that finished sixth in the NBA in points against (97.6 per game) and eighth in field goal percentage allowed (44.4 percent) finally showed up in that series when it mattered the most, and the great offense was not really much of a stretch for a San Antonio team that finished second in the NBA in field goal percentage at 48.6 percent while leading the league in three-point shooting at 39.7 percent.

We expect the Spurs to be able to score at will vs. a Portland defense that ranked 22nd during the season in points against (102.8) and also for the exorbinant differences in the depth of these teams to help lead to a big San Antonio win. After all, this is a matchup between the best and the worst benches in the NBA, with the Spurs leading the league with 45.1 bench points per game and the Blazers ranking dead last for the second straight season with just 24.7 bench points!

The Blazers got away with playing lax defense vs. the Rockets because James Harden had a terrible shooting series, and Portland most likely would have lost that series if Harden has shot the ball like he did while ranking fifth in the NBA in scoring during the regular year.

Unfortunately for the Blazers they cannot get away with that here vs. the depth of the Spurs as if one San Antonio player is having a tough shooting night, it can substitute a quality bench player without a drop-off in production, and sometimes even a lift. Also, San Antonio actually ranked fourth in the NBA in defensive efficiency this season, so we simply do not see the Blazers having sustained success against that unit playing only five players most of the way.

So in our minds, superior depth plus better defense and a vast edge in post-season experience should equal a double-digit San Antonio home win in Game 1 on Tuesday.

[gameodds]5/286079/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Spurs -7 (-103)

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