NBA Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 5:00 AM GMT

Tuesday, Mar. 4, 2014 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 team with the best record in the NBA may face a stern test from a foe from the much stronger Western Conference Tuesday night when the Golden State Warriors (36-24, 18-14 away) pay a visit to the Indiana Pacers (46-13, 29-3 home) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN at 7:05 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Golden State as a moderate road underdog for this contest with the current line at +5 with odds of -105.

The Pacers have reclaimed the best record in the NBA thanks to some recent losses by the Oklahoma City Thunder, and in fact the closest pursuers to Indiana in that department are now the Eastern Conference’s own Miami Heat, who trail the Pacers by just two games for the top seed in the East. Indiana enters this contest riding a five-game winning streak.

The Warriors need to continue to win to ensure a playoff spot despite their .600 winning percentage at 36-24 overall, as that currently nets them just a sixth seed in the tougher Western Conference and they are 1½ games from being out of the playoffs, as that is their margin over the ninth seeded Memphis Grizzlies. To give you an idea of the superiority of the West, Golden State would be the third seed behind the Big Two if it played in the East!

Yes the Pacers are an amazing 29-3 straight up at home this season, but consider that while one of those losses was vs. the Detroit Pistons in an obvious look-ahead spot with the Heat up next, the other two Indiana home losses came to the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks, who are the two teams tied for the seventh seed in the West one-half game behind these Warriors!

Sure, Indiana has the best defense in the NBA statistically, leading the league in points against at 91.2 per game in field goal percentage allowed at 41.5 percent. But then again, the Pacers do not face many potent offenses in the East either, so it is not a coincidence that their points against jumps to 96.2 points vs. Western Conference opponents this year.

Also, the Pacers are only 19th in the league in scoring at 99.1 points per game and they are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games because they are not blowing people away, relying on suffocating defense to win games. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but Indiana could be in a bit of trouble vs. a West team with an offense good enough to solve that defense.

And the Warriors do fit that bill as this is a team that can just shoot over the defense with an offense ranked sixth in the NBA in three-point shooting at 37.7 percent overall. In fact Golden State has three starters that are shooting better than 40 percent from beyond the three-point arc in their dynamic backcourt of Stephen Curry (41.6 percent) and Klay Thompson (40.5 percent), as well as forward Harrison Barnes (40.2 percent).

And as oftentimes happens with Western Conference teams that play at a fast pace, the Golden State defense is often overlooked. However, the Warriors are actually ninth in the league in points against at 98.8 per game and third in field goal percentage allowed at 43.3 percent with only the Chicago Bulls separating the Warriors from the Pacers in that department! As a result, Golden State is actually third in the NBA in defensive efficiency.

Thus look for a tight game throughout here with an upset far from impossible, although we recommend taking the points with Golden State on Tuesday.

[gameodds]5/257309/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Warriors +5 (-105)

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