NBA Pick: Underdog Value Play Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014 4:00 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.

In one of the few meaningful games on the final night of the NBA season Wednesday, do not be surprised if the visiting team claims the seventh seed in the Western Conference when those Dallas Mavericks (49-32, 23-17 away) pay a visit to the Memphis Grizzlies (49-32, 26-14 home) at FedExForum in Memphis, TN at 8:05 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Dallas as a modest road underdog for this contest with the current line at +3½ with odds of -102.

These two teams are assured playoff berths but are currently tied for the seventh and eighth seed in the West after the Grizzlies clinched their bid by eliminating the Phoenix Suns 97-91 in their head-to-head meeting Monday. Now the winner of this contest gets the seven-seed and takes on the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs, while the loser gets the eight-seed and draws the top seeded San Antonio Spurs.

The Mavericks are also coming off of a win over the Suns, as they beat Phoenix at home 101-98 back home in Dallas on Saturday and they have won five of their last six games. Their only loss during this time came to, you guessed it, the Spurs, the team that both of these clubs would like to avoid.

That is obviously no disrespect toward Kevin Durant and the Thunder, but the Spurs swept both of these teams 4-0 this season! The most recent Mavericks’ loss came to the Spurs at home 109-100 last Thursday, and that was without the San Antonio regulars playing all game.

That marked the ninth straight win by San Antonio over Dallas in the head-to-head series, and the good thing about getting the seven-seed is it means the winner of this game avoids the Spurs until the Western Conference Finals at the earliest should the teams get that far.

And the Mavericks certainly seem equipped to get this win given that they have a wining 23-17 straight up road record while the Grizzlies are just an ordinary 26-14 at home. Also, Dallas is the team going for the season sweep in this game after winning the first three meetings this year, and the third of those wins came here in Memphis rather safely 110-96 when the teams last met on February 5th.

The Grizzlies’ motivation for avoiding the Spurs is that if you include the San Antonio sweep in the Western Conference Finals last year, Memphis his now lost to Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili & Co. eight straight times! Identically to Dallas, the Grizzlies have also won five of their last six games and their only loss in this span also came vs. the Spurs in a 112-92 drubbing at San Antonio.

Memphis is a team that relies on its defense as the Grizzlies are third in the NBA in points allowed at 94.4 per game. However, Dallas has had no problem solving the normally staunch Grizzlies defense scoring at least 105 points in the three wins this season.

And when that happens the Grizzlies are in trouble as they lack the offense to keep pace, ranking 27th in the NBA in scoring at 96.0 points per game while preferring to play at a very deliberate tempo, in fact ranking dead last in the league in pace rating, not unlike last season when Memphis ranked second to last in that category in its final year under former coach Lionel Hollins.

With all of this in mind, look for Dallas to at the very least take this game right down to the wire with an outright upset not unlikely in the season finale at Memphis Wednesday.

[gameodds]5/262079/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Mavericks +3½ (-102)

comment here