NBA Pick: Underdog Value Play Friday

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, December 27, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay underdog that has a better chance of cashing than its odds, offering long term value. Here is their Underdog Value Play for Friday.

The team with the worst record in the NBA is starting to get healthy and now has a nice chance against probably the most discombobulated team in the league Friday night when the Milwaukee Bucks (6-22, 3-11 away) pay a visit to the Brooklyn Nets (8-20, 5-9 home) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY at 7:35 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Milwaukee as a moderate underdog for this contest with the current line at +5 with odds of -108.

The Bucks may have the worst record in the league at 6-22, but injuries are part of the reason and they do get a big piece back tonight in center Larry Sanders, who has missed the last eight weeks after breaking his thumb in a fight following the third game of the season. Sanders nearly averaged a double-double last season with 9.8 points and 9.5 rebounds, but he also ranked second in the NBA with 2.8 blocks per game.

The Bucks have missed Sanders’ toughness this year, as that was one of the keys that propelled the Milwaukee playoff run last season, and he comes back at the perfect time as he should dominate the middle here with the Nets losing their center and leading scorer Brook Lopez for the season last week.

The Nets were expected to contend for and probably win the Atlantic Division this year after the acquisition of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, especially with Lopez and Deron Williams already in place, but it has been a disastrous season so far and Brooklyn could be coming off of it worst performance yet in a 95-78 home loss to the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day where the Nets set season lows in scoring and field goal percentage (35.2).

Perhaps the hiring of Jason Kidd as head coach after he was still active in the league last season was a mistake, and the Nets almost certainly acquired Pierce and Garnett a couple of years too late. And now the Nets lack a big man that can provide the firepower of Lopez, who was averaging 20.7 points on 56.3 percent shooting when he went down last week after deservingly making the All-Star Game last season.

Meanwhile, the Bucks have not really played as bad as their record as they have had three overtime losses in their last four games. Considering that the other game in that span was a 116-106 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee is actually that close to having a four-game winning streak right now.

Plus the Bucks are getting healthier as Sanders joins off-season acquisition O.J. Mayo as returnees after Mayo came back a couple of games ago following the death of his grandmother. On top of that, Brendon Knight and Khris Middleton have both reached double-digits in six straight games and both are averaging double-digits for the season.

So the Bucks are not nearly as bad as there record while approaching full health, and Milwaukee appears to offer good long-term value as a modest underdog vs. the dysfunctional Nets Friday.

[gameodds]5/251340/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Bucks +5 (-108)