NBA Pick: Underdog Value Play Monday

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, March 10, 2014 4:00 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.

Although the visiting team has been struggling most of the season, it looks like there is still value to be had Monday night when those Denver Nuggets (27-35, 11-19 away) pay a visit to the Charlotte Bobcats (29-34, 17-14 home) at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC at 7:05 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Denver as a decided underdog for this contest with the current line at +5½ with odds of -110.

The Nuggets have struggled to find an identity under first year coach Brian Shaw going 27-35 and will miss the playoffs after finishing as the three-seed in the West last year. However, they have shown improvement lately by winning the last two games of a just completed home stand including beating what is currently a playoff team in the Dallas Mavericks and then beginning this road trip by taking New Orleans to overtime in a narrow four-point loss.

The Bobcats have been a pleasant surprise as despite still being five games below .500, they currently own the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, two games ahead of the Atlanta Hawks and more importantly five games ahead of the ninth seeded Detroit Pistons for a playoff spot, which would mark just the second playoff appearance in the Bobcats’ history after finishing with among the worst records in the NBA the last several seasons.

Still, while the Cats are always nice bets as underdogs, have they really done enough to be favored by this much? The Bobcats have slipped a bit to 2-4 ATS over their last six games although they are still 34-26-3 ATS for the season. However, much of that success has come in an underdog role and not as a decided favorite like Charlotte is tonight.

In fact, the Bobcats are only 5-6-1 ATS as home favorites this season including 1-2 ATS as favorites of -5 or more, and the lone cover came vs. the Philadelphia 76ers, who are probably the worst team in the NBA right now. Not only that but Charlotte is only 7-5 straight up as a home favorite this year, so the young Bobcats are still trying to learn how to win when they are actually expected to.

As much as the Nuggets have fallen back this year, they are still nowhere near 76ers’ territory and, as mentioned, they have come on a bit over their last three games, so there is no reason why Charlotte’s struggles in this home favorite role cannot continue for at least one more game tonight.

Coach Shaw has seemed overwhelmed at times this season for Denver, as this is his first head coaching job ever at any level and he has continued to tinker with Denver’s offensive style, a far cry from the nine-year reign of the fired George Karl when everyone knew what Denver would do which was run, run and run some more!

The Nuggets have more or less returned to that running style for now though as it was apparent that Denver simply does not have the defenders to run Shaw’s preferred scheme which is more of a half-court style with a greater emphasis on defense. But that running style could suit the Nuggets just fine here, as the Bobcats do not face many teams like that in the much more plodding Eastern conference.

Thus, look for Denver to continue its recent improved play and put enough points on the board to get the cover and quite possibly an outright upset in Charlotte on Monday.

[gameodds]5/258059/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Nuggets +5½ (-110)