NBA Pick: Total Value Play of the Day Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 5:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 5:00 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 Tuesday.

And important Western Conference battle could produce fewer total points than this bloated total suggests Tuesday night when Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder (41-12, 18-9 away) pay a visit to the Portland Trail Blazers (36-15, 19-5 home) at the Moda Center in Portland, OR at 10:05 ET in a game televised nationally on NBA TV.

The posted total at Pinnacle Spots is 210 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

It is understandable why this posted total is so high, as Portland leads the NBA in scoring at 108.0 points per game with the help of ranking fourth in three-point shooting at 38.1 percent, while Oklahoma City is sixth in the league in scoring at 105.1 points per game and boasts the leading scorer in the NBA in Durant and his average of 31.2 points. And yet the ‘under’ is 6-1 in the last seven meetings despite one team usually topping 100 points those games.

That is because these teams usually play to inflated totals like the one tonight, and totals this high usually require both offenses to pull their weight for the game to go ‘over’. Well, the often overlooked factor when these teams face off is the Oklahoma City defense, and that unit should play with great intensity tonight to help ensure the ‘under’ pattern between these teams continues.

That is because this is a big game for the top-seeded Thunder despite leading the third-seeded Trail Blazers by four games in the Western Conference. You see, this is the final meeting this season between these teams and the Blazers lead the season series 2-1 by virtue of a big road win at Oklahoma City on New Year’s Eve.

Now, not only would the Thunder like to return that favor on Portland’s home court, but more importantly they would like to prevent the Trail Blazers from clinching the tiebreaker between these teams in the event the clubs finish tied in the standings. Thus the Thunder will bring their best effort tonight and this is one defense that can slow the league’s leading offense down.

Sure the offensive prowess of Durant and his injured sidekick Russell Westbrook when he is healthy get most of the notoriety, but Oklahoma City would not have the amazing record it has if not for a defense that is ranked sixth in the NBA in points against at 97.5 per game and third in defensive efficiency. That defense has already proven it can slow the Blazers down, allowing 97 and 98 points in the last two meetings respectively.

The Blazers return home from a four-game road trip where they went 2-2 straight up and covered the last three games ATS in wins over the Knicks and Minnesota and a narrow overtime loss at Indiana. If not for the fact that they were facing the Thunder here, this would have been a bad scheduling spot as teams returning home from road trips are often sluggish in their first home game back, but the opponent here should keep Portland on its toes from the outset.

Still, the Blazers shot just a combined 42.9 percent from the field in the last two matchups vs. the Thunder defense, and it is not as if Portland has the same freedom other teams do of substituting freely when the starters are ineffective as the Blazers are second to last in the NBA in bench points this season after ranking dead last in that statistic last season. Moreover, what precious little depth the Blazers do have takes a hit tonight with Mo Williams being out.

Thus, look for the ‘under’ to improve to 7-1 in the last eight meetings between these teams on Tuesday.


NBA Pick: Thunder, Blazers ‘under’ 210 (-105)

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