We took the night off from NBA action last night to shift the focus over to college hoops, but with more than a few good matchups on the Friday slate, are back today looking for some positive results. Who knows, maybe we will even go Matt Barnes and “kill ‘em” Love him or hate him, you gotta admit there is no better quote in the NBA than the oft-travelled defensive menace…
We are rounding the final turn of the NBA regular season, and even if many of the top teams seem more bent on rest than jockeying for position, there are a ton of mechanisms left to play out that will shape the NBA’s second season. Tonight’s pick focuses on a big game for the Denver Nuggets, who are trying to hold off the furiously charging Trailblazers for the last spot out West, visiting the Indiana Pacers who are currently seventh but could easily finish anywhere between fifth and OUT.
Other big matchups include the Bucks hosting the Hawks. Thanks to an 8-2 run, the Bucks are just one game behind the Hawks for the fifth spot in the East. And the Cavs and Celtics will jockey a little tonight with the Cavs visiting resurgent Charlotte while the Celts get a freebie with a home game against Phoenix on the backend of a back-to-back (will the Suns rest their star??!? Just kidding….)
Today’s NBA Pick:
Denver Nuggets at Indiana Pacers -2
Every aggregate season stat becomes irrelevant when we are looking at the Indiana Pacers because of one dominant pervasive fact: they are GREAT at home and TERRIBLE on the road. No playoff team has a wider discrepancy between their home/road returns that the Indianapolis Pacers. They check in 25-10 at home SU (which makes them 11-25 on the road). It’s a pretty amazing margin.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets have been playing great basketball and aren’t to be overlooked. They are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five game and have won six of their last ten games straight up. They have been good on the road this season ATS as well, counter-intuitive to years of “Mile High Air” advantage theory.
But the Pacers Jekyll and Hyde act is impossible to ignore. They are the sixth-best ATS home team in the NBA and have won five straight home games including wins over the Heat, Jazz and Grizzlies. I think they add one more victim tonight in the Denver Nuggets, and especially like the slim price at just minus two.
Today’s Pick: INDIANA PACERS -2