By the Numbers: Green Machine Ready to Rock & Cavs Set to Roll

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, March 11, 2018 4:09 PM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 11, 2018 4:09 PM UTC

By the Numbers is an NBA picks column published exclusively at SBR and focused on historical trends, game-time matchups, and the prevailing odds. Let’s see which teams on today’s card have the best chance of making you money.

Sunday NBA: By The NumbersPacers (38-28 SU, 37-29 ATS) at Celtics (46-20 SU, 39-24-3 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Celtics -6½Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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What's Trending

Boston is 6-0 ATS in its past six when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.

Boston is 13-2 ATS avenging a loss vs. opponent.

Boston is 5-0 ATS in its last five games as a favorite of 5.0-10.5.

Boston is 5-1 ATS in its last six games as a favorite.

Indiana is 17-18 ATS as an underdog this season.

Indiana is 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a straight-up win of more than 10 points.

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Game Analysis

Those who have been backing the Boston Celtics in their NBA picks are undoubtedly aware of their nearly 62-percent cover rate this season. The Shamrocks have been a veritable ATM at the windows and that trend should continue when the Green Team takes the Garden court tonight after a three-game road swing in which they were 2-1 straight up and 3-0 against the number.

The Indiana Pacers have been a pleasant surprise for both their fans and financial backers. Indiana is nipping at Cleveland’s heels for the No. 3 seed in the East and has covered the point spread in 56 percent of their contests this year. That trend has continued as they have won and covered four of their last five, including a 112-87 thrashing of lowly Atlanta on Friday night.

Six of the last eight games between these clubs have been covered by the favorite, and this time on the NBA odds board that happens to be the Celtics. Some might argue that the Pacers could be a live dog particularly when considering the absence of Boston shooting guard Jaylen Brown (concussion). I would counter that argument by pointing out that the Celtics are knee deep in bench talent, have had two days to rest before this matchup, and have revenge on their minds after Indiana defeated them 97-91 at the Garden a little more than a month ago. Lay the lumber and back the Green.

Cavaliers (38-27 SU, 21-43-1 ATS) vs. Lakers (29-36 SU, 35-30 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Cavaliers -2Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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What's Trending

Los Angeles is 5-7 ATS in a home game where the total is greater than or equal to 220.

Los Angeles is 2-3 ATS in March.

Cleveland is 5-1 ATS in its past six road games.

Cleveland is 1-0 straight up and ATS versus L.A. this season.

Game Analysis

We won’t pretend that the Cleveland Cavaliers have much in the way of positive trends this season, but that doesn’t mean this matchup isn’t advantageous. Although the Cavs have underwhelmed in the standings and have absolutely crucified those who have blindly backed them at the windows -- connecting just 32.8 percent ATS -- it should be noted that the road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these clubs.

In addition, the Cavs are 5-1 ATS in their last six on the highway and have won the past five meetings against the Lakers outright but covered in only one of those victories. Yet, the truth is the Cavs are laying a shorter number against L.A. than I can recall in recent memory. Normally Cleveland is laying double-digits but in this one the NBA odds board ranges from Cleveland -2 to -2½. And that, my friends, is value.

Forget about how the Cavs have tortured you this season. They are a better team than the Lakers and are desperately clinging to the No. 3 seed in the East, whereas the Lakers are all but mathematically eliminated from the postseason. Hold your nose and back the Cavs tonight with your NBA picks.

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