Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Wednesday.
The visiting coach may be as big a story as the players in this Wednesday night contest, but his return may not be a happy one when the Milwaukee Bucks (6-5, 2-4 away) pay a visit to the Brooklyn Nets (4-6, 3-2 home) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY at 7:35 ET in a game available on YES.
The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Brooklyn as a home favorite for this contest with the current line at -6 with odds of -108.
The Kidd is Back
Jason Kidd received his first coaching job ever with the Nets last season, getting hired just a month after retiring as an active player, and he guided Brooklyn to 44 regular season wins and to the second round of the NBA playoffs. But instead of showing gratitude toward Brooklyn’s Russian owners for giving him the opportunity with no previous experience, Kidd sought more power by basically demanding the team president job, and the Nets bid him good riddance.
In essence, Kidd was “traded” to the Bucks for a couple of draft picks and Milwaukee appears to have turned things around nicely, as when the Bucks beat the Knicks last night to improve to 6-5, it put the team that finished with the worst record in the NBA last season (15-67) over .500 as NBA picks for the first time since March of 2013. In fact Milwaukee currently has a better record than the 4-6 Nets in Brooklyn’s first season under Lionel Hollins.
Looking to Snap Four-Game Skid
The Nets are on a four game losing streak following a 4-2 start, but the first three losses of the streak came on a difficulty western trek to Phoenix, Golden State and Portland and Brooklyn then lost its first home game back to the Miami Heat Sunday, the Miami team that knocked the Nets out of the playoffs this past season (with LeBron James of course).
This assignment looks a bit easier than the last four games and you know upper management would love nothing more than to see Kidd fail in his first game back in Brooklyn as a visiting coach. And the Nets do still have a winning 3-2 record at home with the loss to the Heat notwithstanding, and a big part of that is playing better defense at home than on the road.
In fact the Nets are allowing only 94.6 points per game when playing in Brooklyn compared to 105.4 points per game when traveling! The better defense at home was even apparent in the loss to the Heat where the Nets allowed 95 points after allowing an average of 105.3 points on the three previous losses out west.
Bucks Currently Overvalued?
Now, can it be that a team that won 15 games all year last season is currently overvalued after 11 games this year? Yes the Bucks are now over .500 but they are still 26th in the NBA in scoring with 94.1 points per game and they still lack a solid perimeter game, ranking an identical 26th on three-point shooting at 31.5 percent. Furthermore Milwaukee is only averaging 93.5 points on the road on 45.8 percent shooting overall including a mere 30.7 percent beyond the arc.
Where the Bucks have improved under Kidd is defensively as they are allowing just 94.5 points per game overall on 43.0 percent shooting. Even there though, the 96.7 points per game Milwaukee is allowing on the road is actually a smidgeon over two points more per game than the Nets are allowing at home.
Nets Swept Last Season
The Nets swept all three meeting with the Bucks last season, not only winning each game straight up but also covering the spread every time including an 11-point win here in Brooklyn. And if you go back to the last meeting between these teams two seasons ago, the Nets are on a 4-0 run both straight up and ATS vs. Milwaukee.
There is obviously no love lost between Kidd and the Nets’ management, and look for the Nets to get the last laugh with a fairly decisive win in Brooklyn on Wednesday.
NBA Pick: Nets -6 (-108)