Pheeewwww. We got smoked last night. No two ways about it. And going back over the data and trends, I would pick Portland at home laying just three over Chicago again. But, sports, right? It just didn’t work out that way for us as Portland shot 30% in the first half, including a jaw-dropping 2 of 17 from distance, and the hole got too deep to crawl out of. It was one of those games where the ball just didn’t go in the bucket and things spiraled out of control quickly.
Luckily, a loss only counts once, no matter the margin, so we will get up off the mat and take our 65%-plus ATS mark into tonight looking to grab a bounce back win tonight.
Elsewhere last night, Cleveland did what they always do; reminded Toronto that despite their nice, cute little record, the East is still in firm ownership of LeBron and The ‘Land. They played another close game, but the Cavs won at home 121-117. Atlanta and Charlotte also stayed hot, each winning on the road, albeit against lesser foes, but a road win in the NBA nonetheless.
And the Lakers. The feel-good story of the year keeps on chugging along as they got a game in a “should win” at home against the Nets. And just the fact the Lakers have any “should wins” on their schedule is progress for sure…
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Today’s Free Pick:
Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers +5
If the Cavs are ever ripe for the picking, it is tonight. A second night in a row on the court, a lesser but dangerous opponent, and fresh on the heels of a hard-fought win against a top tier opponent. The recipe is in place for an upset winner tonight, and we are getting a reasonable amount of points as well.
The biggest trouble for the Pacers has been defensively. They were allowing 108 points per game prior to Monday’s 69 point stifling of the Magic. Granted, it will take more than magic to do the same to the vastly superior Cavaliers, but this game has ‘schedule-loss’ written all over it for Cleveland.
Despite some really ugly losses this season, Indiana is 5-1 at home and has been a radically different team at home. Look for the Jekyll and Hyde Pacers to be their better-selves in tonight’s contest. LeBron has struggled in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in his career. Granted, the Pacers have had some good and defensively-fearsome teams lurking there in many of those years, but the Pacers have this game circled for sure as a turning point in their season, so expect that same intensity. Coach Nate McMillan in on record calling this a “Big game” and I expect his team to respond accordingly.
Fatigue, home court and a healthy pile of points. I’ll take Indy.