NBA Pick: Underdog Value Play Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, December 2, 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 Monday.

The visiting team looks like an overlay on national TV Monday night when the Orlando Magic (6-10, 1-5 away) pay a visit to the Washington Wizards (8-9, 5-2 home) at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC at 7:05 ET in a game televised nationally on NBA TV.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Orlando as a decided underdog for this contest with the current line at +7 with odds of -111.

Now we can totally appreciate that the Wizards are a hot team right now coming off of their winningest month in nine years as they went 8-8 in November and they have gone 4-1 straight up since losing leading scorer Bradley Beal (20.6 points per game) to a stress fracture in his leg. The issue we have here is with this line though, as Washington is not accustomed to being asked to cover larger spreads like this.

The young Magic may be 6-10 straight up this season, but they have more nice parts than they have had in recent years and they have been mostly competitive while going 8-8 ATS. A worse Magic team that this one beat the Wizards 97-92 when these teams last met in March.

The Wizards have been able to win without Beal because John Wall has stepped up and is finally playing like the player Washington thought it selected with the first pick in the draft a few years ago on a more consistent basis. Wall has raised his scoring average to 19.2 points per game by averaging 25.3 points over the last six games including a stretch where he topped 30 points in three straight contests. Wall is also second in the NBA in assists with his 9.0 per game.

Even with that though, the Wizards are 3-3 ATS during Wall’s amazing stretch, and keep in mind that Washington has only been favored by six points or more nine times since the beginning of last season and they actually have a losing straight up record of 4-5 in those games while going 3-6 ATS. That includes going 0-2 straight up in this role this season, losing outright to the Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers.

That points to a lack of maturity as the Wizards have continued to struggle when they are expected to win, while they have played much better and looser as underdogs or smaller favorites. The fact that their defense is ranked 20th in the NBA in points against at 100.8 per game also makes the Wizards dicey as decided favorites like tonight.

The Magic come off of a 109-91 blowout loss to San Antonio, but the Spurs have done that to a lot of teams so it is nothing to be ashamed of. Orlando had gone 3-1 ATS its prior three games, and it has a nice nucleus to build around for the future with Arron Afflalo leading the team in scoring with 21.4 points per game, Nikola Vucevic averaging a double-double with 15.0 points and 11.1 rebounds and first round draft pick Victor Oladipo averaging 13.2 points.

Moreover, the Indiana product Oladipo is averaging 17.0 points over his last three games after being moved into the starting lineup. Thus, the Magic are not unlike where the Wizards were a couple of years ago while starting to develop some nice young talent.

Best of all in regards to this game, the Magic have been undervalued as dogs this year with the memories of the dreadful Orlando team of last year still in bettors’ minds, as they are 7-5 ATS as underdogs overall including 4-2 ATS as road underdogs including an outright upset of the Atlanta Hawks last week.

Look for the favorite/underdog patterns for both of these teams to continue as Orlando gets the underdog cover on NBA TV Monday.

[gameodds]5/248815/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Magic +7 (-111)