NBA Pick: Underdog Value Play Sunday

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, April 6, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 6, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

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 Sunday.

The incentive of the underdogs as they are desperately fighting for a playoff spot may trump the top seeds in the Western Conference Sunday night when the Memphis Grizzlies (45-31, 21-17 away) pay a visit to the San Antonio Spurs (59-17, 30-8 home) at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX at 7:05 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Memphis as a road underdog for this contest with the current line at +7 with odds of -105.

The Spurs had their 19-game winning streak snapped by the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Thursday but they still seem to have the top seed in the West in hand, as they lead the second seeded Thunder by 3½ games with six games remaining. Thus, do not be surprised if Coach Gregg Popovich starts monitoring the minutes of his veteran stars.

On the other hand, every game still means the world to the Grizzlies as they are currently tied with the Phoenix Suns for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. Memphis would get that spot if the season ended today after tiebreakers, but that would go right out the window if the Grizzlies lose here. And winning this game is no easy feat as the Spurs are going for the season sweep after winning the first three meetings this year.

Still, those were all when the teams had equal incentive, unlike this contest where the Grizzlies have all of the motivation. Unfortunately that feeling of desperation has not translated well at the betting windows for the defending Western Conference Finalists as Memphis is on an 0-6 ATS skid right now despite going 3-3 straight up in those games! Then again the Grizzlies were never underdogs by this much in those games either.

The Memphis defense always makes it look attractive as a decided underdog as the Grizzlies rank third in the NBA in points against at 94.2 points per game. They also play at an extremely deliberate pace, which is why they are just 27th in the league in scoring despite ranking a good seventh in field goal percentage. The Grizzlies may have a new coach this year in David Joerger, but they have not changed their style ranking dead last in the NBA in pace rating.

The Spurs still have a 13-game winning streak at home straight up as they beat the Golden State Warriors here 111-90 the night before having their winning streak snapped, and they now look to beat the Grizzlies for the eighth straight time after sweeping them in those Western Finals back in May.

Still, while San Antonio obviously has the talent to win by double-digits, desire means a lot at this time of the season so covering this number may not be as easy vs. a hungry team, especially with the Spurs having little incentive themselves.

And remember that Memphis did take the Spurs to overtime before falling 110-108 the last time these teams met, and that was in a game that meant something to both teams.

With that in mind, take the points with Memphis as they try to hold on to their playoff position on Sunday.


NBA Pick: Grizzlies +7 (-105)

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