NBA Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Friday

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, April 11, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Friday, Apr. 11, 2014 4:00 AM 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 Friday.

Only one team may be doing most of the scoring Friday night when the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans (32-46, 12-27 away) pay a visit to the Oklahoma City Thunder (57-21, 32-7 home) at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK at 8:05 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 204½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at a positive +103.

The Thunder had their entire starting lineup in tact for the first time in over a month on Wednesday, and the end result was a humongous 107-101 road over their closest pursuers for the two-seed in the West, the Los Angeles Clippers. The Thunder can now take a breath while seemingly locked on as the two-seed, as they will not catch the Spurs for the top spot and they lead the third seeded Clippers by three games in the loss column with four games left.

The Pelicans are in last place in the Southwest Division despite improving their record from the previous season for the third straight year, which bodes well for the franchise in the near future. Unfortunately they probably cannot wait for this season to end as All-Star Anthony Davis and starting guard Eric Gordon are now out for the season, joining Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson who have already been on the shelf for a long while.

Thus New Orleans has now lost six straight games while reaching 100 points just once in that stretch vs. defenseless Denver and averaging just 93.7 points per game. This team simply has no consistent scorers right now with guard and former Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans probably being its best option.

Evans was joined in the starting lineup last game by fellow guard Brian Roberts, Al-Farouq Aminu and Darius Miller at forward and Greg Stiemsma in the middle, and if that does not sound like an imposing lineup, well, it is not.. But the Pelicans have no choice but to field that lineup these days in the waning days of the season, so do not look for much improvement.

And even when New Orleans has been at full strength, it has been unable to solve the underrated Thunder defense failing to reach 100 points in any of the last 15 head-to-head meetings with the ‘under’ going 11-4 in those contests.

That Oklahoma City defense is often overlooked because of the Thunder’s scoring prowess, but it is ranked third in the NBA in field goal percentage against at just 43.5 percent and fifth in defensive efficiency.

With that said, the Thunder could afford to now go back to limiting the minutes of their starters the rest of the way, as besides one game vs. the Indiana Pacers, this is one of two games remaining vs. the outmanned Pelicans and their final game of the season is against the Detroit Pistons here at home.

And even if the Thunder play their normal lineup from start to finish, they should be the only team doing any scoring and we just do not see how the current Pelicans’ lineup could generate any offense when even the regular New Orleans offense has been unable to solve the Thunder defense.

Therefore go ‘under’ in Oklahoma City on Friday.


NBA Pick: Pelicans, Thunder ‘under’ 204½ (+103)

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