NBA Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, November 19, 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 Tuesday.

The home team has had trouble blowing people away due to shoddy defense and that may be the case again Tuesday night while being asked to cover a double-digit spread as the Boston Celtics (4-7, 2-4 away) pay a visit to those Houston Rockets (7-4, 4-2 home) at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX at 8:05 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Boston as a huge underdog for this contest with the current line at +10½ with odds of -103.

The Rockets thought they became instant NBA Championship contenders when they signed Dwight Howard during the off-season, but their defense has actually been worse than last season to this point, which is saying something considering they ranked 28th in the league last season allowing 102.5 points per game.

The Celtics meanwhile have undergone a complete transformation this season with the veterans that made them title contenders the last few years all gone and with what until now was a college coach in Brad Stevens, and as expected Boston has been inconsistent so far, starting the year 0-4, then winning four straight games to get back to .500 and now losing their last three. On a positive note, the Celtics have been a tad undervalued at 6-5 ATS.

The Rockets have won three of their last four games including two straight, but the way they have been winning is the same as last year as they are second in the league in scoring with 108.8 points per game, but they are giving points just as quickly and actually at a more rapid rate than last season surrendering 106.3 points per contest. That resulting AMOV of just +2.5 points makes it very difficult to give this many points with a team that plays Houston’s style.

Furthermore, it is not as if the Rockets are winning by bigger margin here at home either where they are winning their games by an average of 4.0 points. Another reason why Houston has not really been blowing teams out has been its inability to hit free throws, especially Howard, who teams have been fouling late in games and will probably continue to do so given his pathetic 53.1 percent free throw shooting percentage.

Now, the Rockets did record a rare 11-point win over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, but that was only because Howard shot 17-for-24 from the line, which was probably an anomaly that would not prevent the Celtics from employing the same strategy tonight.

The Celtics are coming off of a 106-88 blowout loss at Minnesota vs. the Timberwolves to begin this three-game road trip that ends with another tough game when they visit the San Antonio Spurs tomorrow night, but that was the first game Boston lost on the road by more then 10 points, where they also have two wins already including a shocking upset at Miami.

Coach Stevens was known for coaching great defense in college at Butler and the Celtics are doing that quite well, ranking ninth in the NBA in points against at 97.7 per game on just 44.0 percent shooting. That vast difference in the defensive abilities of these two games should be enough to at least keep the Celtics within single-digits here from start to finish.

With all of this in mind, take the big points with Boston as it appears to offer good long-term value getting double-digits in this spot Tuesday.

[gameodds]5/247769/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Celtics +10½ (-103)