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Raptors vs. Pacers Pick NBA – March 16th

The Cavaliers kept on rolling last night, dispatching the Magic with ease in Orlando and notching us an easy win and cover. The win pushed our post All-Star Break record 17-7 ATS, and even with the world’s attention consumed by March Madness, we will try to continue to keep the good times rolling on the professional hardwood.

Because, I like everyone else, will be consumed by Brackets and Upsets – but this MVP race on the professional courts is getting bananas. The latest salvos were fired by Westbrook and Harden yesterday as both turned in virtuoso performances in leading the teams to big wins over the Bulls and Clippers respectively.   Westbrook failed to get his seventh triple-double in nine games, but did record 36 points, 11 assists, and six boards in the victory. Not to be outdone, Harden went for 34/7/7 on the road in a gutsy two-point win at the Clippers. The edge might still be with Harden (and Curry) whose teams are in much loftier playoff positions, but it will certainly be worth watching every single night.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Toronto Raptors at Indiana Pacers -5

Despite the vast record discrepancy, the Pacers are favored by five at home against the Raptors, and deservedly so. The Pacers, even without Paul George, have been one of the best teams in the NBA over the past month while the Raptors have dropped eight of ten and lost every single road game except for a thankful trip to Philadelphia. The bottom seems to have completely fallen out in Toronto while the Pacers actually seem like a legitimate playoff team despite being led in scoring most nights by Rodney Stuckey (Frank Vogel – coach of the year?)

The Pacers have won eight of ten and have looked pretty good in the process. They lost their last game out to Boston, perhaps a little fatigue, but should be ready to bounce back tonight. They are barreling down on the Bucks for the all-important third spot in the playoffs (and avoiding an opening round tango with the Cavaliers) and aren’t likely to squander many more opportunities for good home wins.

In their last five games the Raptors are getting outscored by an average of 6.8 points. The Pacers are outscoring their opponents by more than ten, and that is with a LOSS in the mix as well as games against Chicago and Milwaukee. The Pacers may not be a legitimate threat to go anywhere substantial this year, but I’d take them over just about anyone in the east other than Atlanta, Cleveland and maybe Chicago right now.

Look for Indy to keep it rolling at home tonight.

Free Pick: Indiana Pacers -5