NBA Pick: Underdog Value Play Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, February 3, 2014 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.

An expected rebounding advantage could help the underdog on Monday night when the Cleveland Cavaliers (16-31, 5-19 away) pay a visit to the Dallas Mavericks (27-21, 16-8 home) at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX at 8:35 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Cleveland as a big underdog for this contest with the current line at +9 with odds of -108.

Now we fully realize that the Cavaliers are in terrible form right now and they have not responded well since Coach Mike Brown questioned the team’s competitiveness to the press, losing both games since his comments by double-digits. However, they may get a boost from the return of Anderson Varejao, who had a humongous game the first time these clubs met this season.

Besides, can the Mavericks really be trusted giving this many points? Dallas actually has a losing ATS mark at home this season at 10-14 despite being 16-8 straight up in those games and their average winning margin at the American Airlines Center has been just +3.6 points. The major reason has been rebounding, as the Mavericks are 28th in the NBA with just 39.8 boards per game, and that is one area where Cleveland can keep this game close tonight.

The Cavaliers are 11th in the league in rebounding with 43.9 per game and that figure was much higher before being without Varejao the last three games, as they failed to reach 40 rebounds in any of those contests. That make the return of Varejao and his 10.3 rebounds per game a big deal here, especially in light of what he did vs. the Mavericks in Cleveland two weeks ago.

In that January 20th game, Varejao had 18 points, 21 rebounds, four assists and also two steals for good measure! Besides, the Cavaliers are not lacking in talent despite their record, as all of their other four starters besides Varejao are now averaging double-digits led by All-Star Kyrie Irving and his 21.5 points plus 6.2 assists per game.

The Mavericks have failed to cover the spread in the last two games of this four-game home stand that wraps up tonight. The home stand began promisingly enough with a 10-point win over the Detroit Pistons, but Dallas then lost to the Houston Rockets outright and failed to cover the spread in a four-point win over the Sacramento Kings as identical nine-point chalk as tonight.

Granted Dirk Nowitzki had his second straight 30-point game in the narrow escape vs. the Kings, but he did not get as much support with Shawn Marion missing that contest and Marion is doubtful for this game because of a shoulder injury, meaning Dirk will have to try and put the offense on his shoulders once again.

Now we are not saying that the Cavaliers are going to win this game outright but their expected rebounding edge and the absence of Marion for the Mavericks should be enough to keep Cleveland within single-digits on Monday.

[gameodds]5/254365/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Cavaliers +9 (-108)