NBA Pick: Underdog Value Play Tuesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 4:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 8, 2014 4:00 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 visiting team trying to play spoiler could give the team fighting for a playoff spot a battle Tuesday night when the Detroit Pistons (28-49, 11-26 away) pay a visit to the Atlanta Hawks (34-42, 22-14 home) at Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA at 7:35 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Detroit as a decided road underdog for this contest with the current line at +6½ with odds of -101.

Despite their 34-42 record, the Hawks are battling the Knicks for the eighth and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference, and whoever gets that berth will be among one of the worst NBA Playoff teams ever record-wise, although not the very worst. Still, a wise man once said that if a team needed to win, it was probably not a good team to begin with and we feel that description fits an Atlanta team that is really not very good.

The Pistons had playoff aspirations at the beginning of the season after adding Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith in the off-season while playing in a weak conference, but they have disappointed badly and have been reduced to this spoiler role. This is the team against whom the Philadelphia 76ers snapped their 26-game losing streak five games ago, but to their credit the Pistons have kept on playing while going 2-2 since then while covering in one of the losses at Indiana.

The Hawks appeared to be safely in the playoffs around the All-Star break before going on a terrible streak that saw them go 1-14 over a 15-game period. Atlanta has regrouped somewhat by going 8-7 in the last 15 games, but consistency has not been a strong suit as this stretch has included both a five-game winning streak and a six-game losing streak!

Despite that inconsistency, the Hawks now find themselves two games ahead of New York for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East and they seemingly appear to be in good shape with just six games remaining, especially since the Knicks only have four games left. Still, you have to ask what the line on this game would be if Atlanta was not fighting for a playoff spot.

We feel that this line is shaded by 1½ or two points because of it, and even though it looks like the Hawks will snare that last playoff spot, this is still not a good team that is eight games below .500 and probably does not merit this much favoritism over anybody.

The Pistons come off of a 115-111 win over the Boston Celtics on Saturday and they enter this game with two days of rest while the Hawks played on Sunday. And let us not forget that Detroit won the last matchup between these teams back home 115-107 in Auburn Hills on February 21st with six Piston players scoring double figures including all five starters and Rodney Stuckey off the bench.

We expect the Pistons to score their fair share of points here again vs. an Atlanta defense that is allowing 102.0 points per game overall while ranking 22nd in the NBA in field goal percentage allowed at 46.3 percent and an identical 22nd in three-point defense at 36.8 percent.

Look for those Atlanta defensive issues to lead to a Detroit underdog cover on Tuesday.


NBA Pick: Pistons +6½ (-101)

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