Knicks at Pacers Picks and NBA Game 3 Odds
by Dave Schwab - 5/11/2013
The New York Knicks and the Indiana Pacers will resume their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinals showdown this Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse with the series knotted at one game apiece. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m., and the game will be broadcast nationally on ABC.
The Knicks had to rally in Game 6 of their opening-round playoff series to eliminate Boston after jumping out to a 3-0 start. This time around they dug themselves an early hole with a 102-95 loss as five-point favorites at home. The total went “over” the 181.5-point line in that game.
Indiana could not capitalize on that early lead with a lopsided 105-79 loss to New York in this past Tuesday’s Game 2 as a 5.5-point road underdog, but it had already accomplished its mission of stealing the home-court advantage for this series. The total ended as a “push” in Game 2 on a closing line of 184.
Knicks at Pacers Betting Storylines
It would be an understatement to say that New York has struggled with consistency this postseason. When this team is on its game defensively, it has been extremely difficult to beat. The problem has been the tendency to take a night off here and there and rely heavily on Carmelo Anthony’s ability to shoot the ball. The all-star forward leads the team in scoring in the playoffs with 29.3 points a game, but he is shooting just 39.3 percent from the field and 27.9 percent from three-point range.
Overall, the Knicks are averaging 90.8 points a game while shooting 42.5 percent from the floor and 33.7 percent from beyond the arc. Game 2 of this series was the first time they eclipsed 100 points in eight playoff games, but they have only given up more than 100 once as well. If New York focuses most of its energy in shutting Indiana down like it did the last time out, it should be able to regain the edge in this series. One injury concern for Saturday night is Raymond Felton. He twisted his ankle in Game 2 and remains questionable at this time
Indiana lost its first two road games in its opening-round series against Atlanta but was dominant at home with three double-digit wins. The Pacers are now 33-11 straight up at home this season and 25-19 against the spread. They are averaging 93.5 points a game, which is just slightly less than their regular season average (94.7) and shooting 42.8 percent from the field. Indiana has only given up 100 points or more in two of its first eight playoffs games but has exceeded that mark in half of those games.
Balance has been the Pacers strongest asset all season long, and this has carried over into the playoffs with four players averaging more than 13 points a game. Paul George has led the way with 18.9 points while adding 8.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists. Roy Hibbert is scoring 13.5 points a game but has also been huge under the boards with 9.1 rebounds. The team as a whole is averaging an impressive 46.9 rebounds a game. All this adds up to a myriad of matchup problems for New York on both ends of the court when all this talent is playing up to expectations.
Knicks at Pacers NBA Game 3 Betting Odds and Trends
The Knicks are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 road games and 14-6 SU in their last 20 games following a SU win. The total has stayed under in six of their last nine games overall.
The Pacers are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games playing on three or more days’ rest and 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous outing. The total has gone over in their last six home games.
Head-to-head in this matchup, the home team is 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings and the total has stayed under or ended as a push in four of the last six games.
Knicks at Pacers Picks and Betting Predictions
It is hard to know what to expect from the Knicks on Saturday night, but I think Indiana is going to get a heavy dose of Anthony shooting the ball, which plays right into its hands. Stick with the Pacers team approach to scoring while winning the battle under the boards to prevail with a victory at home that covers the four points.
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