NBA Pick: Underdog Value Play Thursday

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, October 31, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

The Golden State Warriors picked up where they left off last season in regards to three-point shooting last night, so take the points vs. the transitioning Clippers.

The underdog capable of shooting light-out and that looks improved defensively appears to offer good underdog value Thursday night when the Golden State Warriors (1-0, 0-0 away) pay a visit to the Los Angeles Clippers (0-1, 0-0 home) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA at 10:35 ET in a game televised nationally on TNT.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Golden State as a road underdog for this contest with the current line at +6½ with odds of -105.

Both of these teams opened up their seasons vs. the Los Angeles Lakers, but with far different results. The Warriors were as hot beyond the three-point arc last night as ever, picking up right where they left off last year when led the NBA in three-point shooting at 40.3 percent during the regular season and then continued that sharp-shooting in the playoffs.

The Clippers are coming off of the first division title in the history of the franchise and a 56-win season, but they were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies, prompting the firing of Vinnie Del Negro and the hiring of Doc Rivers as head coach after his successful tenure with the Boston Celtics.

The Warriors disposed of the Lakers in a 125-94 blowout last night while hitting on 15-of-27 from beyond the arc for a blistering 55.6 percent! Shooting guard Klay Thompson led the way with 38 points on an insane 15-of-19 shooting overall including 5-for-7 on threes, while forward David Lee provided his usual inside presence while filling the stat sheet with 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

But something else that stood out that may help elevate the Warriors to elite status sooner rather than later was holding the Lakers to 39.3 percent shooting from the floor. Golden State upgraded its defense in the off-season by signing the hard-nosed Andre Iguodala away from the Denver Nuggets, and his defense seemed to pay immediate dividends.

It is also worth noting that besides Thompson, no other member of the Warriors played more than 27 minutes last night, so the effect of playing back-to-back nights should be even more negligible than it usually is this early in the season.

The Clippers faced that very same Lakers’ team on opening night and were upset 116-103 in Rivers’ LA coaching debut, allowing the same offense that the Warriors shut down last night to shoot 45.2 percent from the field. No, that is not an obscenely high percentage but it is significantly higher than what Golden State permitted the Lakers to shoot on Wednesday.

Besides the new coach, the Clippers were also breaking in some new personnel in J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley, neither of whom is known for his defensive prowess, meaning that the Clippers are playing three defensive liabilities simultaneously when that duo is on the court with Blake Griffin. Perhaps most disconcerting in regards to this contest is that the Clippers allowed the Lakers to make 48.3 percent of their three-point shots (14-for-29)!

The Warriors already matched up well with the Clippers before this off-season, going 6-1 ATS in the last seven head-to-head meetings overall including 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings here at Staples, so take the points with Golden State as your Underdog Value Play of the Day for Thursday.

[gameodds]5/246638/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Warriors +6½ (-105)