NBA Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, March 24, 2014 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 Monday.

Although both teams can score lots of points, the total still looks inflated Monday night when the Denver Nuggets (32-38, 13-22 away) pay a visit to the Oklahoma City Thunder (51-18, 28-7 home) at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK at 8:05 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 218½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.

The Nuggets are out of the playoff picture themselves, but that does not mean that they will not have an impact on other teams as they have posted recent wins over playoff teams such as the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference and over the Miami Heat and Washington Wizards from the East, with the latter coming 105-102 yesterday to make it five wins in the last seven games overall for Denver.

The Thunder led the Western Conference for a time this season, but they are now the second seeds two games behind the San Antonio Spurs, making each game critical in their quest for the top seed. This is also a revenge spot after Oklahoma City lost in Denver 101-88 the last time these teams met on January 9th. The Thunder were without Russell Westbrook then and they might be again tonight after he suffered a knee sprain in Toronto on Friday.

Our main interest here is in this bloated total however. Yes the Thunder boast the leading scorer in the NBA in Kevin Durant and they are fifth in the league in scoring as a team with 105.8 points per game. However, the Oklahoma City defense is often overlooked and just as much a reason for the 51-18 record as the offense.

In fact, the Thunder are 10th in the NBA in points against at 99.4 per game, third in field goal percentage allowed at 43.4 percent and fifth in defensive efficiency. Sure the offense has taken things to new heights when playing at home averaging 107.3 points, but the defense has remained constant surrendering 99.0 points per game at Chesapeake Arena with those combined 206.3 points being more than 12 points less than this posted total.

Now Denver can also score averaging 103.9 points, but it does not play any defense ranking 28th out of 30 NBA teams in points allowed at 105.8 per game, an average that rises to a distressful 107.3 points on the road! Even with that however, all Denver road games have averaged a combined 210.0 points, which is still more than eight points less than this posted total.

Furthermore the Nuggets have averaged 100.7 points in the second of back-to-back games this season, and while most teams will gladly take that, it is still below Denver’s lofty scoring standards with at least one day off, which currently stands at 104.8 points per contest. When you then factor in the Oklahoma City defense and the Thunder seeking revenge at home, we can easily see the Nuggets not reaching the century mark in this game.

If that happens, then the Thunder would have to score over 120 points to push this game ‘over’ the total. Sure that is possible given the Denver defense, but would you want to count on it to cash an ‘over’ ticket?

We certainly would not so we recommend going ‘under’ this lofty total in Oklahoma City on Monday.

[gameodds]5/259678/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Nuggets, Thunder ‘under’ 218½ (-110)