NBA Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 5:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 25, 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 young home team looking to make a playoff run has not been very reliable as a decided favorite, and that may be the case again Tuesday night when the Orlando Magic (17-41, 3-26 away) pay a visit to those Washington Wizards (28-28, 14-14 home) at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC at 7:05 ET in a game televised nationally on TNT.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Orlando as a big road underdog for this contest with the current line at +9½ with odds of -102.

The Wizards are no longer the Eastern Conference doormats that they have been for several years as they seem headed for their first NBA Playoff appearance since 2008. The Wizards got back to the .500 mark by sweeping their two games over the weekend first beating the New Orleans Pelicans at home Saturday and the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road Sunday. That currently leaves Washington as the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Magic may be slightly better than the last two seasons, but the results have not been there as Orlando is in last place in the Southeast Division with the third worst record in the East at 17-41, and the Magic also own the worst road record in all of basketball at 3-26. However, they are getting almost double-digits here and that is a number that they can cover vs. a young Wizards’ team that has not yet proven to be reliable giving this many points.

In fact, it is interesting that Washington has an identical 14-14 record straight up both at home and on the road, and the Wizards have gone just 5-13 ATS as home favorites of any spread. Perhaps most telling in regards to this game though is that Washington is 0-5 ATS as home favorites of -8 points or more while amazingly going just 1-4 straight up in those games!

It is also noteworthy that the Wizards lost their starting forward Nene in the win at Cleveland Sunday for around six weeks with a sprained MCL, and that was one night after he hit the game-winning dunk with one second less while scoring 30 points in the win over New Orleans Saturday.

Nene is obviously a huge loss as he is averaging 14.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and even 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game from the power forward spot, and perhaps most telling is the fact that the Wizards are 27-22 in the games that he has played this season but only 1-6 in the games that he has missed!

Now, we totally get that the Magic have not won a road game outright in over two months while losing 15 straight games while travelling with the most recent road defeat coming north of the border 105-90 to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, and Orlando is still without leading scorer Arron Afflalo as he nurses a sprained ankle.

But the Magic are not lacking in talent, especially vs. an unreliable favorite like the Wizards, as wily veteran Jameer Nelson and Rookie of the Year candidate Victor Oladipo compliment each other nicely in the backcourt, they have a walking double-double at center in Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris has provided added scoring punch in the absence of Afflalo up front, pouring in 28 points in Toronto.

We are not calling for an outright Orlando victory, but look for the Magic to score enough points to hang within single-digits of Washington on Tuesday.


NBA Pick: Magic +9½ (-102)

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