Balance & Intensity on Pacers Defense Makes Indiana a Solid NBA Pick Over a Losing Knicks Team

Steven Suarez

Saturday, March 7, 2015 4:02 PM GMT

The Knicks have been beyond awful, and nothing's going to change as we near the end of the regular season. The NBA odds are clearly in Indiana's favor and the road team should be the one you take with your sports picks.

Odds Overview
They may be on the road, but the Pacers are still the heavy favorites for tonight's game in New York according to the NBA odds. Are you really surprised? Have you seen how bad the Knicks have been this season?

The Pacers will enter as nine-point chalk on the road, with the O/U all the way down at 190. The Pacers have been getting it done defensively, and the Knicks have been putrid offensively, so the low number makes sense.

 

New York Knicks
The Knicks have dropped consecutive games and are a poor 2-10 over their last 12 games overall, which has them at 12-48 overall on the year. No one has a worst record than New York, and that appears to be just fine with Phil Jackson, Derek Fisher and the rest of the franchise. Carmelo Anthony has been shut down for the rest of the season, with the Knicks hopeful of getting a top draft pick in order to bolster their ranks for next season.

About the only thing going for New York tonight is the fact they've been off for a few days after a blowout loss to this same Indiana squad on Wednesday. 

The Knicks shot 39.5 percent from the floor in the loss, though Andrea Bargnani was certainly a bright spot. He finished with 25 points, four rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal in 38 minutes, with Langton Galloway and Tim Hardaway Jr. also hitting double figures. Cole Aldrich added six points and seven rebounds off the bench.

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Indiana Pacers
The Pacers have obviously been hurt by injuries this season, particularly without Paul George available for the entire season. Indiana's offense has suffered because of that, but that same intensity on the defensive end and on the glass that we're used to seeing out of Frank Vogel's teams has been there again this season. The Pacers rank third by allowing the third-fewest points per game on average, and they're fifth in the NBA in rebounding. That's helped them stay competitive most night.

Even better news for Indiana is there's still a slim chance George could return at some point, as he's reportedly been taking part in full practices without suffering any kind of setback. It remains to be seen if the Pacers will take that chance with their most prized asset, but it would certainly be a massive boost for a potential playoff run.

As for Indiana's recent performances, they've been excellent. This is a team that's won four straight and seven of its last eight, with the only loss coming against the Warriors. Included in this four-game winning streak are victories over both Chicago and Cleveland, and three of the wins have come by at least 14 points. 

 

NBA Pick
The Knicks are a complete fade for us every time they take the court. Why even put yourself through something so painful like rooting for the worst team in the NBA?

Whereas New York has been consistently awful and is in full on tank mode, the Pacers have turned the corner and are playing some of their best basketball of the season. They're as healthy as they've been all season and look like they're ready to challenge for a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. If they keep playing like they have been, they shouldn't have much trouble doing just that.

So, with our NBA picks, we're going to be siding with Indiana to win and win convincingly at that, just like they did a few days ago. The Pacers' balance and intensity on the defensive end should make the difference here.

NBA Pick: Indiana Pacers -8.5 at BetOnline