Free NBA Picks: Trail Blazers at Pacers Odds
by Aaron Smith - 2/6/2014
The Portland Trail Blazers head into Friday’s matchup with the Indiana Pacers in the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference standings. The Indiana Pacers enter this game in first place in the Eastern Conference. They are three games ahead of the Miami Heat.
Portland started the season red-hot. They had the best record in the NBA through the first few weeks. The Blazers are still playing solid basketball, but they have definitely come back to earth a bit. Indiana has the best winning percentage in the NBA. The Pacers are a sparkling 23-2 at home so far this year.
These are two franchises on the rise in the NBA. While fans heard very little out of the Blazers last year, this team is making a lot of noise this year. Indiana was one game away from the NBA Finals last year. The Pacers badly want to take that next step. Every game counts for these two teams!
Blazers at Pacers Betting Story Lines
When you see how good the Blazers are this year, it’s hard to believe they went 33-49 last season. Portland sat around the break-even point for much of the season last year, but they lost their final 13 games as the team skidded to the end of a disappointing season. In the offseason, the Blazers front office decided it was time to address their biggest weakness, which was their bench play. The investments made in bettering the Blazers bench have paid off in a huge way this year.
While they don’t get a ton of publicity, the contributions made by Mo Williams, Dorrell Wright, and Thomas Robinson have been essential for this team. The Blazers have a very good starting five, but they had that impressive starting five a year ago. The difference this year is coach Terry Stotts can take the starters out and not kill the team’s chances of winning. Last year, the Blazers had the worst bench in the league. The starters logged so many minutes that they were completely gassed down the stretch.
There has been no sophomore slump for Damian Lillard, and LaMarcus Aldridge is happy and putting up big numbers. The Blazers clearly have a nice nucleus to build around, and this is a team that should be competitive for the foreseeable future.
Indiana fought the Miami Heat extremely hard last year in the playoffs only to fall one game short of a trip to the NBA Finals. The Pacers did it with defense last year, and their defense has been even more dominating so far this season. Opponents are shooting just 41.3 percent from the floor against this suffocating Pacers defense. Indiana has a tremendous combination of length and athleticism on the outside as well as shot blockers and physical defenders in the paint. When you play defense the way the Pacers do, you are going to be a matchup nightmare for everyone.
Indiana is 17-8 against the spread on their home floor. They are 31-17 ATS in their 48 games overall this year. It’s interesting to see a team that was so good last year be this much better than the oddsmakers expected. Based on the oddsmakers numbers at least, this year’s version of the Pacers is a much better team than last year’s.
It’s important to note that Lance Stephenson is questionable for this game due to a minor back injury suffered in the Pacers win over Atlanta on Tuesday. Stephenson leads the team in assists and field goal percentage, and he is one of the team’s best defenders.
Blazers at Pacers NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
According to odds from Bookmaker, the Pacers are favored by 5.5 points in this one. The posted total is set at 197 points. Portland is 1-5 ATS in their last six road games. The Blazers are just 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games at Indiana. The Pacers are 25-9 ATS in their last 34 home games. The home team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings between these two teams. The “under” is 4-0 in the Blazers last four road games. The under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between these teams.
Free NBA Picks: Blazers at Pacers Betting Predictions
Portland has the No. 1 scoring offense in the league, but they are up against the best defense in the NBA. The Blazers haven’t been quite as good of late, and to win at Indiana you have to be at your very best. The Pacers have consistently covered the number at a high rate at home, so I see no reason to go against the trend here. Indiana’s defense combined with a nice home-court advantage should be enough. Look for the Pacers to cover the number in this one.
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