NBA Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Friday

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, January 3, 2014 5:00 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.

There could be an inflated total on Friday night when the Memphis Grizzlies (14-17, 7-6 away) pay a visit to the Denver Nuggets (14-17, 7-8 home) at the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO at 9:05 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 191 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

This total could be inflated due to the reputation the Nuggets have gained by being a run-and-gun team under former coach George Karl for so many years, but this team is struggling more under Coach Brian Shaw than it probably ever did under Karl as Denver has currently lost eight straight games for the first time since the end of the 2002-03 season.

The Grizzlies meanwhile are starting to play their customary good defense as of late and, as has also become typical in recent seasons, they are playing at the slowest pace in the NBA, a combination very conducive to an ‘under’ vs. a team struggling to score points.

And for the first time in about a decade, the Nuggets are doing just that as they had failed to score 100 points in the first seven game of their losing streak before scoring 102 points in a loss to the lowly Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. In fact, Denver has reached 100 points only three times in its last 14 games and it has not topped 103 points in any of those contests, a far cry from the leading scoring team in the NBA last season.

Shaw has implemented more of a half-court style while also trying to stress defense, and the transition has not been easy as the Nuggets are only 16th in the league in scoring this year at 99.9 points per game. Yet, perhaps due to their aforementioned reputation, they have continued to play to rather high posted totals and, as a result, the ‘under’ is 19-12 in all Denver games this season.

On the plus side, the Nuggets are eighth in the league in field goal percentage allowed at 44.2 percent defensively, so perhaps they are grasping Shaw’s concepts on that end of the court.

The Grizzlies allowed the fewest points in the NBA last season, with that defense keying their run to the Western Conference Finals, and they are sixth in that category this season yielding 97.0 points per game. They were off to a rather slow start defensively under their first year coach Dave Joerger, but they have returned more to last year’s form while allowing an average of 94.3 points on 43.7 percent shooting over the last six games.

Through it all, the Grizzlies are dead last in the league with a pace rating of 92.2 possessions per game, so they certainly play at their own pace. That style has resulted in four wins in the last six games as Memphis is starting to come on a bit after a slow start. The Grizzlies began this three-game road trip in style with a 99-91 win at surprising Phoenix last night, limiting the Suns to 41.1 percent shooting from the floor.

Finally, the ‘under’ is 5-1 in the last six head-to-head meetings and look for that pattern to continue for one more game on Friday.

[gameodds]5/251936/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Grizzlies, Nuggets ‘under’ 191 (-105)