Back Pacers To Avenge Loss Against Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers player

Jay Pryce

Saturday, December 10, 2016 4:17 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 4:17 PM UTC

The Pacers opened 2-point favorites over the Trail Blazers for their Saturday night (7 p.m. ET) clash at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The line is close to crossing the fence, down to a pick’em at many sports books. Get your game prediction here.

Portland Trail Blazers (12-12 SU, 9-15 ATS)

Scoring 109.1 points per night on the year, Portland has proven one of the league’s most efficient teams over the last five games, putting up 110 points per 100 possessions.

The backcourt is where the team shines. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum can do just about everything: drive to the hoop, drain 3s, and sink long-range jumpers. Shooting from downtown is their specialty. Portland ranks seventh in the NBA in 3-pointers attempted (30.2) and made (11.0) per contest.

Defensively, the Trail Blazers get hammered in the post. They allow 46.3 points per game in the paint, third most in the league. Rim protection is not the team’s strength, and it will likely be without starting power forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who bruised his back last time out at Memphis. Portland is 2-7 SU and 1-8 ATS when allowing 50 points or more down low in a game.

The Trail Blazers are playing 3.3 points per game below the spread. Only the Hawks (-4.0) are disappointing in the market more. Portland is 7-1 SU and ATS in the last eight games in the series, however, looking for its third straight season sweep.


Indiana Pacers (11-12 SU, 9-4 ATS)

The Pacers fell to the Trail Blazers 131-109 at Portland a little more than a week ago in the first of a 5-game West Coast road trip Indiana jut wrapped up, It went 2-3 SU and ATS overall. All-Star Paul George missed the last meeting with a sore ankle but is expected to start in this one.

The Pacers cannot get over the hump, literally. They are 0-9 SU and ATS when tipping off with a record of .500 this season. Their only time owning a winning record was following a 130-121 victory over the Mavericks in the opener.

Indiana is one of the NBA’s best (third) from the charity stripe, posting an 80.5 percent rate from the free throw line. With Portland’s interior injuries expect a lot of low-post attack from the Pacers.

Defensively, Indiana’s half-court defense leaves a lot to be desired. The team allows opponents a 51.3 percent rate on 2-pointers. They tighten up on the far perimeter, however, holding foes to 33.7 percent shooting from the arc.


Portland Trail Blazers vs Indiana Pacers

Indiana shot over 50 percent from the floor in last week’s loss, but could not keep up with Portland’s torrid pace. Expect Pacers head coach Nate McMillan to roll out some significant defensive changes to help control the game. Indiana is 6-0 at home this season when putting up triple digits, and 23-8 overall since last year. The Trail Blazers are the most inefficient team in the league defensively, yielding 112.3 points per 100 possessions. Expect home-court advantage and different game design to be the difference-maker here. Indiana ML -110 is the free NBA pick.


Free NBA Pick: Indiana -115Best Line Offered: at SportsInteraction

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