So was the Pacers win last night a “statement” game? I’m not sure. Yes, it is enormous for the younger, hungry Pacers to stay ahead of the Heat in the Eastern Conference standings, and YES, it is huge to show that they are not intimidated, afraid or the least bit daunted by the three-time conference champs. But, from the heat’s perspective, and the perspective of most of their fan base it’s just a little yawn, and a “call me in May when it matters.”
Regardless of the perspective you choose to adopt, two things are certain: first, we’ll take the win last night with the easy cover, and two, we will see these two teams again in the Playoffs as they are light-years ahead of any other Eastern Conference contender.
It’s not a huge sports night, with an average NBA slate, a lousy college basketball slate and no football – so what BETTER night to find a few good wagers and make a few of these games interesting? I don’t have huge plays going tonight, but there are a few games I like in the NBA, so let’s dig in.
Today’s Free Picks:
Detroit Pistons at New Orleans Pelicans -3.5 (Total: 202)
The Pistons and Pelicans enter with almost identical records, but the narrative for each team is very different. The Pistons are an average team with a big infusion of talent that should get them into the playoffs and keep them just good enough to remain mediocre for the foreseeable future. The Pelicans are hopefuls in a loaded Western Conference with a ton of potential who are doing an admirable job treading water while awaiting the return of their MVP-candidate Anthony Davis.
New Orleans has lost two games in a row, but it’s hard to hold losses to the Thunder and a three-point loss to Dallas against them. Before that, they had won three in a row, all without Davis. This team has rallied and held together and it frankly much better than I thought they’d be.
The biggest issue for me tonight is the fact that Detroit lost by 32 last night to Minnesota, and now they go on the road less than 24-hours later against a pretty good team. We all know that is a recipe for bad results more than often than not in the NBA. No need to get cute and try to outsmart the metrics and numbers tonight; take the home team who isn’t on the back-end of a back-to-back.