NBA Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Friday

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, November 1, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

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 Friday.

Look for a relatively low scoring game between two teams that lost their season openers Friday night when the Portland Trail Blazers (0-1, 0-1 away) pay a visit to the Denver Nuggets (0-1, 0-0 home) at the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO at 9:05 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 198 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -107.

As we mentioned when we easily cashed the ‘under’ in the Nuggets’ 90-88 opening night road loss to the Sacramento Kings, new Denver Coach Brian Shaw is planning much more of a half-court offense this season after the Nuggets were a run-and-gun team under former Coach George Karl the last nine years, and the opening result seems to bear that out.

The Blazers also went ‘under’ in their opener, but that was mainly due to bad shooting in a disappointing 104-91 loss on the road to the Phoenix Suns, which is a team most people fully expect to be in the hunt for the number one draft pick in the NBA Draft after this season.

The Nuggets are coming off of a regular season where they set a franchise record 57 wins, but they were then eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the eighth time in nine years, this time by the Golden State Warriors, and the axe came down on Karl despite all of his regular season success. They then brought in Shaw, who has never been a head coach at any level previously as he has been an assistant coach since the end of his playing days.

What Shaw does have though are five NBA Championships rings, so he has both the respect and the attention of his players. Last season, the Nuggets finished second in the NBA in pace rating behind only the Houston Rockets, and while that style may run up wins in the regular season, it has consistently failed in the NBA Playoffs. The Nuggets are currently 22nd in pace rating after one game, and considering that drastic change in style, an opening two-point loss is not bad.

Remember that Ty Lawson is playing through an injury and Danilo Gallinari does not figure to be back until around December after tearing his ACL in April, so as long as the Nuggets continue to get comfortable in Shaw’s system until their scorers are healthy, they should be fine. They should also be nice ‘under’ plays until the sportsbooks fully adjust to their change in style.

The Blazers had a horrible finish to the season last year after looking like playoff contenders at around the All-Star break, and although Portland has some nice parts in the starting lineup such as LaMarcus Aldridge and reigning Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, the Blazers were done in by poor bench play last year and that does not seem to be improved.

Portland finished dead last in the NBA in bench points last season with a mere 18.5 per game, and they got all of 12 points from the bench in the loss at lowly Phoenix Wednesday. In fact, besides the aforementioned Aldridge and Lillard, nobody else really showed up, as while that duo combined for 60 points on 22-for-42 shooting, the entire rest of the team scored 31 points while hitting on 11-of-39 field goal attempts for 28.2 percent!

Do not expect the Blazers to pick things up too much offensively here in the altitude of Denver, and when you combine that with the Nuggets doing their best to implement Shaw’s new offense, look for another ‘under’ on Friday.

[gameodds]5/246719/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Trail Blazers, Nuggets ‘under’ 198 (-107)