NBA Pick: Underdog Value Play Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 5:00 AM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 26, 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 Wednesday.

The home team may not be in the best of scheduling spots and is still missing an All-Star Wednesday night when the Brooklyn Nets (26-28, 9-17 away) pay a visit to those Portland Trail Blazers (39-18, 21-7 home) at the Moda Center in Portland, OR at 10:05 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Brooklyn as a road underdog for this contest with the current line at +2½ with odds of -105.

The Trail Blazers come off of three straight wins vs. divisional opponents in the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves at home and the Denver Nuggets on the road, and they have a rematch with the Nuggets up next on Saturday followed by a conference battle with the Lakers, so Portland might not be fully focused for this less important non-conference battle tonight.

The Nets meanwhile have been chasing the .500 mark all season since starting the year 3-10, and they started playing better once the calendar flipped over to 2004. They have a real chance to get to that evasive .500 mark if they can win here tonight, as that would give them a chance to do so vs. the struggling Nuggets tomorrow night.

The Blazers were one of the biggest surprises in the NBA when they were competing for the top seed in the Western Conference earlier on, but that lofty standing now seems unlikely after some losses to the top teams in the conference has dropped Portland back to fifth in the West and four games behind the conference leading Oklahoma City Thunder. Remember also that the Blazers were amazingly healthy for a long time this season.

In fact, Portland was fortunate enough to be able to have the same starting five on the court for the first 53 games this season, which was crucial for a team that is currently dead last in the NBA in bench scoring for the second year in a row with just 13.7 points per game. Well, the Blazers’ luck ran out with All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge and his 23.9 points and 11.4 rebounds per game missing the last four games with a groin injury.

Aldridge has been replaced in the starting lineup by Dorell Wright, who is averaging 4.6 points and 2.2 rebounds, and yet the Blazers are still on that three-game winning streak with Damian Lillard playing out of his mind averaging 30.3 points in the three wins.

However, the Blazers did benefit by facing three teams that are in down cycles right now, so Aldridge may finally be missed tonight vs. a Brooklyn team that is 16-7 since January 1st to go from being toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference to now being in a playoff position as the sixth seed!

And Lillard is not the only hot-shooting guard in this contest as Deron Williams poured in 30 points vs. the Los Angeles Lakers when the Nets last played on Sunday, and now playing with two days off should offset the fact that Brooklyn is playing the fifth game of a seven-game road trip, especially vs. a Portland team playing on a back-to-back that may result in added fatigue for the four regular Blazers’ starters playing even more extended minutes in Aldridge’s absence.

Add this all up and Brooklyn has a real shot at a mild outright upset at the Moda Center on Wednesday.


NBA Pick: Nets +2½ (-105)

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