NBA Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 5:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 5:00 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 Tuesday.

The overachieving road team could be an overlay favorite Tuesday night when those Portland Trail Blazers (26-8, 13-4 away) pay a visit to the Sacramento Kings (10-22, 6-13 home) at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, CA at 10:05 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Sacramento as a home underdog for this contest with the current line at +4½ with odds of -101.

The Blazers are the biggest surprise in the NBA at 26-8, but regression is inevitable for a team that has no bench and plays little defense. That regression may have already begun as Portland is now just 2-3 in its last five games following a home loss to the lowly Philadelphia 76ers as a 12½-point favorite on Saturday.

The Kings have won just 10 games all season, but they can often be thorns in teams’ sides when playing here at home and they seem to elevate their game a bit when hosting the better teams. To wit, Sacramento is 7-0 ATS in its last seven home games vs. teams with a winning road records.

Portland leads in NBA in scoring at 108.7 points per game and in three-point shooting at 39.9 percent, and yet the Blazers only managed 99 points and went 3-for-22 from beyond the three-point arc at home against one of the very worst defensive teams in the league in the 101-99 loss to Philadelphia. The starters did not have their typical shooting night, and that is a problem considering the Portland bench is averaging a measly 30.9 combined points nightly.

Besides the starting five providing 73.3 percent of the entire Portland offense, the defense is ranked 25th in the NBA in points allowed at 102.6 per game and 20th in field goal percentage against at 45.7 percent. Those defensive numbers may get even worse as the season goes on while the starters get more fatigued from carrying the offense, so unless the Blazers can pull a trade to add some quality depth, do not expect them to keep winning at their current pace.

Granted the Kings are even worse defensively ranking second to last in the league on both points allowed (104.5) and field goal percentage against (47.5), but the Kings could score, averaging 100.6 points per game to rank in the top half of the league (15th). It has helped that DeMarcus Cousins is playing the best ball of his career as he now has a streak of seven consecutive double-doubles.

The Kings have lost two straight games both here at home to a couple of lesser teams in Philadelphia and Charlotte, but getting back to what we alluded to earlier about Sacramento’s knack for playing to the level of its opponents at home, the Kings also have recent wins here over the likes of the Miami Heat and the Houston Rockets.

Sacramento will also have some revenge in mind after losing both ends of a home-and-home series vs. Portland in the only two meetings between these clubs so far this season in November, losing 96-85 here at Sleep Train Arena and 104-91 up in Oregon.

The Kings may or may not get that outright revenge, but in any event look for Sacramento to take the Trail Blazers right down to the wire at home on Tuesday.


NBA Pick: Kings +4½ (-101)

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