Warriors at Pacers Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 2/26/2013
It’s starting to look more and more like the Indiana Pacers are the only realistic threat in the Eastern Conference to the Miami Heat. The Knicks and Bulls are fading, and the Celtics are injury-ravaged. The Nets? The Hawks? Please.
We all remember that Indiana gave Miami trouble in last year’s playoffs (at least through four games), and the Pacers have beaten the Heat twice this year by double-digits to clinch the season series (the teams play once more). At BetOnline, Miami is the overwhelming -280 favorite in the East with Indiana now having passed the Knicks as the second-favorites at +650.
Tuesday’s Pacers game with Golden State should be highly entertaining to see which team’s style dictates the pace. The Warriors are a fast-paced offensive club ranking No. 8 in the NBA in points. They don’t play a lot of defense. Indiana is exactly the opposite. It uses brawn and defense to win, leading the NBA in rebounding (46.0 per game) and in points allowed (89.4 points per game).
Warriors at Pacers Betting Story Lines
Indiana can’t be playing much better. It has won four straight, beating Charlotte, New York and Detroit twice by a combined 108 points. The last team to win four straight games by a combined total of 108 or more points was the Orlando Magic in December 2001. Saturday’s 90-72 win at Detroit was the closest of those four and the only road game. Indiana’s Danny Granger made his season debut in that one due to a knee injury. To say Granger was rusty is an understatement as he was 1-for-10 from the floor for two points in 18 minutes. I’m sure the team will bring him along very slowly.
The Pacers and Pistons combined for a total of 25 points in the first quarter Saturday, the fewest combined points in the first quarter of any game this season. Detroit’s 28 first-half points was its lowest in a first half since 2003, and its 72 points was a season-low. The Pacers are 11-1 this season when their opponents score less than 80 points.
The only negative this season for Indiana thus far has been the apparent regression of former all-star center Roy Hibbert. The 7-foot-2 former Georgetown star should dominate down low at his size, especially in a league bereft of truly dominant centers. Hibbert averaged 12.8 points on 49.7 percent shooting last year along with 8.8 rebounds per game. This season, he is averaging 9.9 points, the lowest since his rookie year, on 41.8 percent shooting (by far his career worst) and 8.1 rebounds. Foul trouble has been a problem much of the season, and Hibbert has fouled out of two of the past three games. Because of fouls, he has been limited to 20 minutes or less in three of the past four games. Hibbert is a potential X-factor should the Pacers face the Heat in the playoffs because Miami has no big man to deal with Hibbert.
Golden State started a five-game road trip with a 100-99 win at Minnesota on Sunday. The Warriors had dropped their past five road games. The Warriors trailed by as many as 16 points but rallied behind backup point guard Jarrett Jack, who finished with 23 points and eight assists. David Lee turned in his NBA-best 21st 20-and-10 game of the season with 22 points and 13 boards (he also leads the NBA with 36 double-doubles). Jack was also instrumental in a big comeback win Friday night against the Spurs, finishing with 30 points and 10 assists in 42 minutes. He’s a reserve in name only and could win Sixth Man of the Year.
The news isn’t all good for the Warriors. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but center Andrew Bogut is hurt again. Now the Aussie has a back problem and has been ruled out indefinitely. The Timberwolves certainly took advantage by outscoring Golden State a whopping 62-36 in the paint. Golden State’s two other “centers,” Andris Biedrins and Festus Ezeli, combined for zero points and two rebounds in 18 combined minutes. They were a combined minus-16. Power forward Carl Landry will get most of Bogut’s minutes, and he had 19 points and nine rebounds in 33 minutes vs. Minnesota. But he’s undersized to stop any opposing centers.
Golden State beat Indiana 103-92 in Oakland on Dec. 1 as a five-point favorite. Stephen Curry had 20 points and 11 assists for the Warriors, while Lee had 13 points and 12 boards. David West led Indiana with 23 points. Pacers rising star Paul George was blanked on 0-for-7 from the field, one of only two goose eggs for him this season.
Warriors at Pacers NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, Indiana is an eight-point favorite with the total at 197. The Warriors are 29-26-1 ATS (14-16-1 on road) and 35-20-1 “over/under” (20-11 on road). Indiana is 32-24 ATS (18-10 at home) and 23-32-1 O/U (12-15-1 at home).
Golden State is 2-7 ATS in its past nine. The Warriors are 1-7 ATS in their past eight against teams with a winning record. They are 0-6 ATS in their past six on the road. The Pacers are 7-1 ATS in their past eight after a win. They are 6-1 ATS in their past seven games following a win by at least 10 points. Indiana has covered five of its past six against teams with a winning record. The over is 8-1 in Golden State’s past nine after an ATS loss. It is 5-0 in its past five Tuesday games. The over is 6-2 in Indiana’s past eight after a win. The favorite has covered in the past four meetings. Golden State has covered once in its past 11 at Indiana.
Warriors at Pacers Picks and Betting Predictions
The Warriors are looking for their first season sweep of this series since 2000-01, but I don’t see how they have much chance without Bogut unless Curry, Jack and Klay Thompson are lighting it up from outside. Golden State hasn’t won in Indiana since 2007 and is allowing an average of 114.2 in those five losses. Indiana has been mostly dominant at home of late, if you throw out two hiccup overtime losses to Toronto and Brooklyn. Give the points and take the over.
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