Spurs as Small Dogs are the NBA Pick in Washington

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 3:36 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015 3:36 PM GMT

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 Tuesday.


The defending NBA Champions turn up as small underdogs Tuesday night as they look to defend a 17-game winning streak in the head-to-head series when those San Antonio Spurs (23-15, 10-9 away) pay a visit to the Washington Wizards (25-12, 16-4 home) at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC at 7:05 ET in a game televised nationally on NBA TV.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has San Antonio as a tiny underdog for this contest with the current line at +1½ with odds of -103.

Good Reason for Washington to be Favorite
That 17-game winning streak aside, we have no qualms with the Wizards being the small favorites as they are actually one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference and they do after all have the better overall record right now and are playing at home. Then again the Wizards may be a bit delicate psychologically right now after being the losing NBA picks in a 120-89 rout Sunday to the team they are chasing in the Southeast Division, the Atlanta Hawks.

That drops Washington four games behind Atlanta, which currently owns the best record in the East at 29-8.

And do not look now but the Spurs are starting to get healthy again with the exception of NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who remains out with a torn ligament in his hand. Tony Parker made his return recently and has increased his minutes with every game, and that has helped enable the Spurs to snap out of their December funk with four wins in the last five games. San Antonio is in fourth place in the ultra-tough Southwest Division but just four games out of first.

17th Straight Win Came This Year
Now we get that the Spurs’ 17-game winning streak over the Wizards may not mean much considering that the teams meet just twice a year and the streak stretches all the way back to 2006. However, what is more significant is that the 17th straight win came this year, in fact only 10 days ago 101-92 in San Antonio without Parker in the lineup. Thus the losing streak could start getting into the Wizards’ psyche at the first sign of adversity.

Parker only played about 12 minutes in his first game back three games ago after missing six games with a hamstring injury, but he then played 22 minutes in the next game and 25 minutes at Minnesota on Saturday, where he had 12 points and five rebounds. That make Tony one of six Spurs in double-digits that game but the leading scorer was not someone you would expect but rather the unheralded Austin Daye with a season-high 22 points in addition to 10 rebounds.

Daye actually made the start in that spot on place of Leonard and he figures to do so again here after that performance. Also, with the Spurs having been off since Saturday, do not expect Coach Gregg Popovich to rest Parker and Tim Duncan as he often does.

Perimeter Defense Could Hurt Wizards
Now the Wizards have improved their play at home this season at 16-4 straight up after last season breaking a long playoff drought despite being only 22-19 here in the “Phone Booth”, thanks to going an identical 22-19 on the road. However, it bears mentioning that Washington is only 9-11 ATS at home this year after going just 16-23-2 ATS here last year.

Now the Wizards may have an MVP candidate in John Wall, but they are still only 18th in the NBA in scoring with their 99.6 points per game. Rather, Washington is winning with defense, ranking fifth in points allowed at 97.6 per game. Despite allowing so few points though, the Wizards are only 11th in field goal percentage allowed at 44.4 percent and an even worse 17th in three-point defense at 35.3 percent.

That latter percentage could make for a nightmarish matchup vs. a San Antonio team ranked sixth in three-point shooting at 37.5 percent, especially with Parker now back and playing more minutes, as he is an almost unfathomable 19-for-31, 61.3 percent from beyond the three-point arc over the 24 games that he has played!

Spurs Dogs vs. East Team?
Finally, San Antonio is not an underdog vs. the Eastern Conference very often. It has happened just once this season and the Spurs won that game outright over LeBron James and the Cavaliers in Cleveland back in November. And since January of 2012, the Spurs are 11-5 ATS as underdogs vs. Eastern Conference teams while going 9-7 straight up in those games.

Look for the Spurs’ success as dogs vs. the East to continue as small underdogs in Washington on NBA TV on Tuesday.

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NBA Pick: Spurs +1½ (-103)

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