NBA Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, April 10, 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 Thursday.

There could be an inflated total in a national TV game missing some stars Thursday night when the San Antonio Spurs (60-18, 29-10 away) pay a visit to the Dallas Mavericks (48-31, 25-14 home) at American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX at 8:05 ET in a game televised nationally on TNT.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 201½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -108.

The Spurs seem to be in great shape to get the top seed in the Western Conference as they lead the Oklahoma Thunder by three games with four games left, although the big win by the Thunder vs. the Clippers last night may put a bit of pressure on the Spurs to win this game. Besides, Coach Gregg Popovich was not happy with the San Antonio lackluster effort at Minnesota Tuesday, so look for a better effort here.

The Mavericks meanwhile are in a three-team fight for the last two playoff spots in the Western Conference along with the Phoenix Suns and the Memphis Grizzlies, with the defending Western Conference Finalists from Memphis being the odd team out as of this second. The magic number for the Mavericks to clinch a playoff spot is two thanks to their just completed 4-0 road trip.

The Spurs will probably give maximum effort here, but they are a bit short-handed with Tony Parker out with back spasms and Manu Ginobili doubtful with a calf injury suffered during the embarrassing 110-91 loss by the Spurs in Minnesota Tuesday in the make-up of the meeting scheduled for Mexico City that was postponed earlier in the season.

Also, Popovich figures to keep monitoring the time of Tim Duncan with the top seed all but assured. Duncan leads the team in both scoring (15.1 points per game) and rebounding (9.7), but he will turn 38-years-old in a few weeks and it is more important to have him fresh and ready for the playoffs. To wit, he played only 20 minutes in the ugly loss to the Timberwolves where the Spurs trailed by as much as 29 points at one point.

However, playing younger backups longer may actually help San Antonio defensively, and many may be surprised to know that the Spurs are actually fifth in the NBA in points against at 97.2 per game and eighth in field goal percentage allowed at 44.2 percent.

The Mavericks blew a chance to improve their playoff positioning on a big recent eight-game home stand by going only 4-4 with three overtime losses, but they made up for it with their 4-0 trip that began with a huge win over the Los Angeles Clippers, as that was followed up by three much easier contests vs. the Lakers, Kings and Utah Jazz.

However, Dallas has continued to have its difficulties with San Antonio, losing all three head-to-head meetings this season to extend the Spurs’ winning streak in this series to eight games. Furthermore, the Mavericks have had trouble vs. the San Antonio defense, averaging just 95.6 points over those eight losses.

Remember also that setting the Texas rivalry aside, this is not really as big a game for the Mavericks as their next two games which close out the season, as those are against Phoenix and Memphis, the two teams Dallas is fighting with for two playoff spots. Even if they lose this contest, the Mavericks will probably gain that playoff berth with just one win in those last two games.

With all of this in mind do not look for as much scoring in this game as you would normally expect and go ‘under’ in Dallas on TNT Thursday,

[gameodds]5/261536/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Spurs, Mavericks ‘under’ 201½ (-108)