The NBA schedule has just two games Thursday before breaking for the All-Star weekend. Check out this betting information on the Wizards-Pacers and Celtics-Bulls matchups before making your picks.
Are Pacers Primed For Big Night?
The Indiana Pacers have lost five in a row straight up, while going 1-4-1 ATS on NBA picks in their last six. They have endured a brutal schedule in this span, squaring off against the Cleveland Cavaliers twice, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. The red-hot Washington Wizards, tonight's opponent, were the only opponent in which the Pacers picked up a cover in that stretch, losing 112-107 as 5.5-point underdogs at Verizon Center last Friday.
One has to go back to March 2014 to uncover the last time the Pacers lost four straight at home. Prior to the current five-game losing streak, they tied the Houston Rockets for the third-best home record in the NBA with a 20-6 mark. The franchise has since slipped to ninth (20-9). Expect Indiana to toughen up at Bankers Life Fieldhouse vs. a Wizards squad that has won 10 of its last 11 games and covered seven in a row in Indy.
Another good sign for the Pacers is the fact that leading scorer Paul George owns the Wizards recently. George, who went cold Wednesday night with a 4-for-19 performance from the field, led all scorers with 32 points on 12 of 23 shooting when these two clashed less than a week ago. Since 2014, George averages 28.7 points per night against Washington. Look for another solid effort off a poor night versus the Cavs.
Celtics Profitable On Second of Back-to-Backs
The second night of back-to-back games for the Celtics is a gold mine for NBA bettors. Under head coach Brad Stevens, they are a remarkable 47-21-1 ATS (69.1 percent), going 8-4 in 2016. The situation presents itself tonight as Boston travels to Chicago to take on the Bulls after upending the 76ers 116-108 at TD Garden on Wednesday.
The home-away scenario may be the weakest in this spot for Boston, however. On the road in the back-to-back trend, the Celtics cover 74 percent of the time (36-13). The rate dips to 63 percent (19-11) when traveling from Boston, as opposed to a 90 percent clip (17-2) when trudging along on an extended road trip.
The Bulls, meanwhile, shocked the Raptors 105-94 in Toronto as 4.5-point underdogs on Tuesday. Chicago entered the meeting on a three-game losing streak, the sixth time this season it has faced this situation. The Bulls have won every time out, also covering every spread by an average of 13.9 points per game. How have they fared against the number in the follow-up effort? Not so hot. The Bulls are 1-4 ATS, failing to cover by 3.5 points per game.