NBA Pick: Underdog Value Play Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, January 8, 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 Wednesday.

The road team should be able to take advantage of a home team missing its leading scorer on Wednesday when the Washington Wizards (15-17, 8-9 away) pay a visit to the New Orleans Pelicans (15-18, 9-5 home) at New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA at 8:05 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Washington as a road underdog for this contest with the current line at +3 with odds of -102.

The Wizards have been doormats of the Eastern Conference for several years now, but this young team has developed nicely this season while even hitting the .500 mark at 14-14 recently before losing three straight games. They snapped that losing streak last night in Charlotte and could now pull back to within one game of .500 tonight.

The Pelicans have lost two straight games and three of their last four contests, but they may have actually suffered their most crucial loss during the lone win in that span as they lost leading scorer and three-point specialist Ryan Anderson to a scary cervical stinger that has him laying on the court for quite some time during the win in Boston before being carted off on a stretcher. He was eventually diagnosed with a herniated disc and is out indefinitely.

The Wizards snapped their skid vs. the Bobcats by a 97-83 score last night, shooting 47.3 percent from the field vs. a Charlotte defense that has limited opponents to 43.6 percent shooting for the year. Washington’s dynamic duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal combined for 38 points in the win as the Wizards had five played reach double figures including Martell Webster off the bench.

In fact, Webster and the entire Washington starting five are all averaging double-digit points for the season right now, with the electric backcourt of Wall (19.7 points, 8.8 assists, 4.1 rebounds) and Beal (17.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists) leading those half-dozen scorers.

Even more importantly, the Washington defense has gotten a bit better as the season has gone on, holding four of its last six opponents below 100 points with last night marking the third time in that span that it kept a team in the 80s.

That defense has a chance to continue its improvement tonight with the Pelicans missing Anderson’s 19.8 points per game, not to mention his blistering 40.9 percent three-point shooting. Yes, New Orleans held on to win 95-92 vs. the Celtics when Anderson scored 13 points in the first half before going down in the third quarter, but the Pelicans have since scored just 82 and 88 points in back-to-back losses, albeit vs. two elite teams in Miami and Indiana.

Still, Anderson’s absence should hurts even against lesser defenses, as his scoring could no longer help offset the deficiencies of a Pelicans’ defense that is ranked just 26th in the NBA in points against at 102.9 per game and also 26th in field goal percentage allowed at 46.3 percent.

The Washington lineup is certainly equipped enough to take advantage of that defense, so the Wizards look to present great underdog value in a game that they could easily win outright on Wednesday.

[gameodds]5/252383/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Wizards +3 (-102)