These teams will battle for the final seed in the East, however eyes are on Nets right now after they beat Indiana & face N.Y. tonight so who will improve their NBA Odds of a playoff berth tonight?
Lottery or Postseason?
It could be both of these teams in the lottery if the Nets keep surging, however tonight with the Pacers coming off the back to back, and the Celtics overachieving for the last month, it’s very hard to decide a NBA pick for this game. On one hand you have the vastly superior Pacers team talent-wise, but they are off the back to back, on the road, and they still don’t have the services of their best player.
George Hill has been fantastic for the Pacers since his return earlier in the season, but he alone cannot win this game for the Pacers. David West and Roy Hibbert have to step up, but Hibbert is more up and down than a roller coaster, and West is at the point in his career where off the back to back, he isn’t going to be able to carry the Pacers on offense and get them more than 12-15 points.
On the other side, while the Celtics have been playing better than expectations, they still present some interesting mismatches in this game. I think it might be the deciding factor as well. Isaiah Thomas is going to give Hill fits tonight, and even with Hill being an above average defender, Thomas is too quick for the Pacers on tired legs. Also, even though it doesn’t mean as much, the Celtics have some versatile big men, and they will use them to exploit the mobility issues that West and Hibbert have. Overall it might be another evening where despite the matchup, the Celtics look like a pretty good play ATS.
The Sharp Pick
The Celtics have actually been a nice ATS wager over the last month or so, and tonight should be no different. The Pacers are only 8-8 ATS this season coming off a game the night before, but even more telling tonight might be the fact that Indiana is 0-4 ATS in their last four games against losing teams.
In the other hand you have Boston, who is 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 games overall, and they are 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine games as home favorites on the NBA odds board. Boston has also been very good overall this season at cashing after a SU win. The Celtics are 20-8 ATS following a SU win.
I see the game being close, but in the end I think the game last night is going to be too much for the Pacers to overcome if this game is close down the stretch. Boston has covered their last two meetings with the Pacers this season, and while they 2-1 ATS and SU versus the Pacers this season, they are also 4-1 ATS in their last five against the Pacers dating back to last season.
My NBA Pick: Celtics -3 ½ at BetOnline