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Magic vs. Pacers Pick NBA – March 10th

We notched another NBA winner last night thanks to the Golden State Warriors wearing down the beleaguered Suns in the second half. The win was our fourth NBA winner in five games here are the SportsGeek, and runs the post All-Star Break record to a nice tidy 15-5 ATS.   We aren’t quite going Russell Westbrook complete animal-style domination on the NBA galaxy, but I’d be more than thrilled to stay at 75% ATS for the rest of the season (and doubt many of you will be mad either).

Meanwhile, as awesome as Russell Westbrook has been, with the awakening of the Spurs and the continued maintenance of the Clippers even without Blake Griffin, it appears the final playoff spot is still going to be a tight two-team race between the Thunder and the Pelicans. The biggest reason is the larger-than-life return of Anthony Davis. The Pels big man was dominant in last night’s win at Milwaukee with 43 points, ten boards, six assists and a pair of blocks. He’s missed too many games to be a legit MVP candidate, but there is no doubt he is a first team all-NBA’er. It will be interesting to see if he can keep his team in the playoff picture. My guess is the Thunder will edge them out, but expect the Pelicans to play well enough that people are dismayed they are out of the playoffs while the Heat/Nets/Bobcats/Celtics will be possible participants.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers -8.5

About three months ago, I would have thought these two teams were about even. I might have even given the slight edge to Orlando on sheer roster and talent and athleticism. But don’t sleep on Frank Vogel and the job he is doing with the Pacers, which is nothing short of amazing. He has the Pacers in playoff position and with Paul George on the mend and likely to return before the end of the regular season, they are a very interesting and dangerous playoff foe (assuming they get in). The Pacers are the only team in the NBA to win eight of their last ten games, and that streak includes wins over Chicago, Cleveland, New Orleans and Golden State. Even their losses are impressive; a two-point loss at San Antonio and a reasonable loss at OKC.

Most importantly, they have covered eight straight games at home.

Orlando enters having won two straight, but both were at home and against non-playoff teams. On the road, things have been a little trickier. They are just 10-22 on the road, so perhaps their recent competent play is a result of eight of ten games being at home rather than much tangible improvement.

The Pacers are on a massive roll right now, so I’m going to keep riding with them. Indiana has won both meeting this year with room to spare and are undoubtedly a better team at this point in the season than they were early.

Free Pick: Indiana Pacers -8.5