Mavericks vs. Pacers Pick NBA – December 16th

The NBA beat rolled along last night with the Cavaliers picking right up where they left off last postseason, kicking Boston’s backside regardless of the venue. The game had the classic feel of a “yeah, you guys are cute, but we are the CHAMPS” kind of “show-me” game and I wasn’t disappointed. Cleveland controlled the game throughout, and while they may have a slight hiccup getting Kyrie acclimated to NBA minutes and the new floor dynamic he introduces, I think Cleveland is about to go on a big run. The East has remained close at the quarter-mark. I do not expect we will say the same thing at the half-post.

Meanwhile, in case you ever need a reminder that this is “sports” take a look at last night’s pasting the Lakers put on the Milwaukee Bucks. The Lakers moved to 4-21 while taking a part a team that just three days ago ended one of the most historic winning streaks in NBA history by routing the Golden State Warriors. By the transitive property? The Lakers are the best team in the league…

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Today’s Free Pick:

Dallas Mavericks at Indiana Pacers -4.5

Rick Carlisle visits his old stomping grounds in Indianapolis tonight and will find a well-rested team awaiting him. Indiana hit a three-game slide, partially aided by playing out West at the end of a long road trip (Portland and Utah) and hosting Golden State. They appear to have gotten right since, easily handling Toronto in their home return. Tonight they get another quality opponent, but they get to face them well-rested and at home where they are 8-3 SU and 7-4 ATS.

Dallas started the year so well people seemed to overlook the fact that this team was picked well out of the playoff picture before the season began. Their recent results suggest the inevitable regression to the mean. They are just 5-5 in their last ten games with losses to Sacramento, Houston and Washington. This isn’t a terrible team, but it is one that has great overachieved so far in 2015.

Look for Indiana to score with relative ease tonight. The Mavericks allow over 100 points on average, so facing a high-octane offense on the road doesn’t bode well for the Mavs. Paul George is expected to play despite an upper respiratory infection. Keep an eye on his status before going heavy on this game, as if for some reason things were to chance and he is ruled out, this pick looks a little different. However, the Pacer DID beat the Mavs last time, even without Paul George, and that was with Monte Ellis on the OTHER team. Look for Monte to play well against his former mates tonight to help George carry some of the scoring load.

The Pacers are too good to ignore at home against a middling NBA team. I like them to win and cover tonight to get us our 13th win in 15 NBA plays.

Free Pick: Indiana Pacers -4.5

Chris Scheeren / Author