Indiana Pacers (41-30) at New Orleans Pelicans (41-30)
We won again last night! We are on a hot streak that just won’t quit. This is now twelve winners in our last fourteen NBA bets. Last night we backed the Portland Trail Blazers at home against the Houston Rockets getting five points.
I expected a very tightly contested back and forth game that would come down to the final few possessions and that is exactly what happened. Neither team ever got out to a double-digit lead at any point, and this game went right down to the wire. In the end, the Rockets found a way to get the job done and win the game, 115-111, but we got the cover for Portland.
It really shouldn’t have even been that big of a gap as Chris Paul got fouled with one second left on the clock and knocked down both free throws to stretch the win out to four points. The Rockets are really good. I think they are the NBA’s best team. But when you see a spot where a team as hot as the Blazers were, they had won thirteen straight games heading into this one, getting that many points on their home court, you just can’t pass it up.
Today I will look at two teams both jockeying for playoff position as the Indiana Pacers play at the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Indiana Pacers will travel to New Orleans Wednesday night to make up a canceled game from February 7th. Both teams aren’t overly happy with when the game got scheduled as the Pacers were supposed to be enjoying a nice little break in the schedule. Indiana was supposed to have a very rare four-night break at home. Instead they must travel to New Orleans to play a playoff-bound Pelicans team.
For the Pelicans, they are forced to play on three consecutive nights to accommodate this game. They played and won last night against the Dallas Mavericks and will play again tomorrow night against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Pacers are -1-point road favorites tonight. The game total over-under is set at 219.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:00 PM PST from the Smoothie King Center in the Big Easy.
These teams are very evenly matched. Both are playing much better in the second half of the year than they did in the first half. And both are fairly secure in their playoff positioning but would love to move up one or two more seeds. Neither one of these teams really wants to be playing tonight. In a game so tightly contested where do we look to find the value?
You need look no further than Pelican’s superstar Anthony Davis. When the Pelicans lost center DeMarcus Cousins, many people thought it was the end to a once-promising season for the Pelicans. It turns out it was the best thing that could happen to them. I get it, Boogie puts up really good stat lines, but he has never won anything in the NBA, and he is a cancer to every roster he has ever been on. Losing Cousins opened up the door for more Anthony Davis and “The Brow” has responded.
In March, Davis has gone for 28 points, 12 boards, 2 assists, and 4 blocks a game. He appears to be the only legit challenger to James Harden for the league MVP award this year. Hopefully, this surge in play will convince the Pelicans they don’t need two big men in the Big Easy and they will trade off Cousins in the off-season. Davis has shown he can carry this team on his back and that is what they will need for him to do tonight to win on their home floor.
Back to back games in the NBA are always tough spots. But I am a little surprised to see the Pelicans as home underdogs tonight against a Pacers team that is mediocre on the road. Maybe it is because the Pelicans have to play again tomorrow night and people think that they might be conserving energy to make sure they have a shot to win again tomorrow night?
I don’t think that is really the case though. You saw that last night as the Pelicans said they were going to limit Davis’ minutes to keep him fresh. And then the game was tight late and guess what? Davis played a lot down the stretch, and the Pelicans won the game.
New Orleans can’t afford to lose this game tonight, and if Davis needs to play the entire fourth quarter to ensure a victory, I am certain that is what is going to happen. Lucky for the Pelicans, Davis is young and full of energy, and I don’t see the workload slowing him down.
If this were a normal back to back and not a three straight stretch I would guess New Orleans would be -2 or -3-point home favorites. But I don’t see the Pelicans looking ahead to tomorrow night and expect them to go all out and try to win tonight, so I feel that they are showing a lot of value as a home dog.
The Pacers are a .500 team on the road this season, and I am not ready to start backing them as road favorites against Western Conference playoff teams just yet. I expect some tired legs late for the Pelicans, but in the end, they get the job done and protect their home floor.
Give me the New Orleans Pelicans +1-point tonight!