Back the Pacers +1.5 vs. Bucks for Your NBA Picks

Jeff Grant

Friday, January 2, 2015 3:28 PM GMT

Indiana has taken better care of the ball with its starting point guard back on the floor, which makes it a top NBA betting pick against Milwaukee Friday night.

A New Start
Indiana has alternated wins and losses over its last five games, which is important to consider when looking over the NBA odds, as it comes in off a 106-95 victory over the Miami Heat as four-point home favorites Wednesday.

The Pacers currently occupy the No. 11 spot in the Eastern Conference standings, but their roster is confident in making a push to earn a spot in the playoffs, as it leads the league in scoring defense.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise is 19-11 SU and 14-16 ATS in the month of January.

 

Solid Road Trip
Milwaukee returns home after securing road wins over Charlotte and Cleveland, which can’t be ignored when making your NBA picks, as it also looks to win its second consecutive game in this series.

The Bucks snapped a six-game losing streak to the Pacers in picking up a 87-81 victory as four-point road underdogs on Nov. 4, but their opponent was playing without the services of George Hill and David West in that affair.

It’s important to point out that the squad is 7-6 SU and 8-4-1 ATS when playing inside the Bradley Center in head coach Jason Kidd’s first season on the job.

 

Quite a Hill
The Pacers have committed more turnovers than their opponents in all but 11 games this season, but that trend should start moving in the other direction, as Hill has been on the floor since Dec. 22 after missing significant time with a knee injury.

Indiana’s point guard leads a starting lineup that has all five players averaging double figures, while he’s coming off a season-high 20-point performance against the Heat.

 

Transition Baskets
The Bucks pace the conference in scoring 18.5 points off of turnovers, which isn’t very surprising due to Kidd’s prowess as a defender during his Hall of Fame career as a player.

Milwaukee leading scorer Brandon Knight has a chance to get out and run in this matchup, as he’s averaged 25.3 points on 50 percent shooting in his last four meetings against the Pacers.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Pacers as one of their top NBA underdog selections, as they’ve gone 2-0-1 ATS when receiving three or fewer points on the road this season.

NBA Pick: Indiana Pacers +1.5 at 5Dimes