NBA Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, January 23, 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 Thursday.

There could be an inflated total on national television in the NBA on Thursday night when the Los Angeles Lakers (16-26, 8-15 away) pay a visit to the Miami Heat (30-12, 17-3 home) at American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL at 8:05 ET in a game televised nationally on TNT.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 209½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -107.

The ‘under’ is now 6-1 in the last seven head-to-head meetings between these marquee rivals after they stayed below the total again on Christmas Day in Los Angeles, and we are expecting more of the same at this bloated number tonight.. Besides, the Lakers are “marquee” in name only nowadays with a lineup consisting of Pau Gasol and a bunch of no-names.

The Heat meanwhile have done a better job defensively at home than on the road all season, although they did hold the Lakers to only 41.8 percent shooting in that 101-95 road triumph on Christmas.

Coach Erik Spoelstra was probably not to happy about the defensive effort of his Heat team on a just-concluded 2-4 road trip, so Miami made more of a concerted effort on that end of the court in its first game back home and limited the Boston Celtics to 39.3 percent shooting in a 93-86 win on Tuesday. That lowered the field goal percentage allowed by the Heat to 44.8 percent over all home games this season.

Miami was not very crisp offensively though even in triumph against the Celtics, that is until LeBron James took over in the final minutes to put the game away, finishing with 29 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals. The rest of the team accounted for just 64 points combined however and it did not help that Dwayne Wade continued to sit while nursing a knee injury.

Wade has already been ruled out of this contest also, so Miami will again be without his 18.9 points per game. Ray Allen scored only seven points filling in for Wade on Tuesday and the bench is also weaker whenever Allen is forced to start.

The Lakers are very nearly on a three-game winning streak right now with a 102-100 overtime loss in Chicago being their only defeat in the last three games. Keep in mind that the two wins came vs. the Celtics and Raptors though, so do not rush out to get in line for those Laker playoffs tickets, especially with the Heat representing a huge jump in class.

Now, all Laker games have averaged a combined 206.4 points this season with Los Angeles playing at the third fastest pace in the NBA, grading out at 99.7 possessions per game. You may notice that as high as that combined total is, it is still less than the lofty posted total for this contest, and besides this game does not figure to be played at nearly as fast a tempo as the Lakers would like with the Heat probably controlling the pace at home.

Miami ranks just 23rd in pace rating at 94.7 possessions, and we look for that to key a rather safe ‘under’ at this inflated TV total on the NBA on TNT Thursday.

[gameodds]5/253493/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Clippers, Bobcats ‘under’ 209½ (-107)