Warriors to Win 17th Straight is Your NBA Pick

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 6:12 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 6:12 PM UTC

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.


ESPN may not have envisioned having a dream matchup Tuesday when scheduling this contest, but that is exactly what it has become as the Golden State Warriors (21-2, 13-1 away) put a 16-game winning streak on the line when they pay a visit to the Memphis Grizzlies (19-4, 11-1 home) at FedExForum in Memphis, TN at 8:05 ET in a special Tuesday edition of the NBA on ESPN.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Golden State as a road underdog for this contest with the current line at +2½ with odds of +100.

Two Best Records in the NBA
So what ESPN ended up with here is a matchup of the teams with the two best records in the NBA! The Warriors suffered their only two losses in consecutive games way back on November 9th-11th, first losing on the road at Phoenix and then at home to the defending champion Spurs. Golden State has been unblemished since them making it 16 wins in a row by beating the Pelicans in overtime 128-122 on the road in New Orleans on Sunday.

The Grizzlies are right behind the Warriors with the league’s second best record and they continue to be tough at home where they are 11-1 while winning by an average of nearly double-digits, at +9.4 points per game. That probably makes this the single toughest challenge for the Warriors so far this season, so will Memphis be where the Golden State NBA pick winning streak comes to an end?

Right Choice for Kerr
Remember this off-season when the new Team President of the New York Knicks Phil Jackson was wooing Steve Kerr to take his first ever coaching position in the Big Apple? Well, just when it appeared to most of the world that Kerr would begin his coaching career with the Knicks, the Warriors swooped in late and Kerr shocked many by spurning the Hall of Fame Coach Jackson and accepting the Golden State offer.

He opted to coach a team that already had loads of talent in place over starting from scratch with the terrible Knicks in perhaps the biggest spotlight in the country in New York, and to say he made the right move would be a gross understatement! Needless to say, the 21-2 mark is the best 23-game record to begin a head coaching career in NBA history.

It is no secret that the Warriors can score points, as they lead the NBA in shooting percentage at 48.2 percent overall and are fourth in three-point shooting at 37.6 percent, all while leading the NBA in Pace Rating with 100.4 possessions per game. Naturally that has led to a bountiful 107.6 points per game ranking Golden State second in the league in scoring and fifth in offensive efficiency.

However, you may be surprised to learn that the Warriors now lead the NBA in defensive efficiency in their first season under Kerr, permitting only 95.2 points per 100 possessions! That is because they have managed to allow just 96.8 points per game despite their phrenetic pace by leading the league in lowest field goal percentage allowed at 41.1 percent. At this rate, Kerr may end up with Coach of the Year honors in his first coaching gig ever.

Memphis Improved Offense
Now the staple of the Memphis success in recent season has been defense, and they are again fourth in the league in points against at 95.4 per game. However, the difference between this Memphis team and the more plodding ones of the past is that the 2014-15 Grizzlies can actually score, ranking 10th in the league in points scored with 102.3 per game! In fact Memphis has topped 100 points in five straight games, although the last two required overtime.

Still, while the Grizzlies are certainly heading in the right direction with a more balanced team on both ends of the floor, in fact ranking an identical seventh in the NBA in both offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency, the bottom line is last they still lag behind the Warriors so far in both categories.

Sure Memphis closed the gap offensively, but for a team that stresses defense, the 100.2 points per 100 possessions the Grizzlies are giving up is five whole points more than what the Warriors are allowing. And as tough a venue as Memphis is for visiting teams with only San Antonio winning here so far (meaning that the Spurs have beaten both of these teams), the Warriors have already conquered quite a few tough venues on the way to their 13-1 road mark.

Warriors Won Easily in Memphis Last Time
And let us not forget what happened the last time the Warriors visited Memphis last season, as Golden State won in a romp 108-82 while shooting 44-for-88, 50.0 percent vs. the vaunted Memphis defense.

While we still have a lot of respect for the Grizzlies playing at home, we simply feel compelled to back what we feel is the better team here in the Warriors as underdogs when they seek their 17th straight win in Memphis on Tuesday.

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NBA Pick: Warriors +2½ (+100)

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