Expect Indiana to cover vs. the Spurs

Saturday, December 7, 2013 3:48 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 3:48 PM UTC

One of the Eastern Conference's finest teams meets up with a Western Conference power tonight. Do the Pacers or Spurs hold the best NBA betting value? The odds are close, but let's take a look and see who gets the NBA pick.

Odds Overview

Glancing over the NBA odds, we see San Antonio is favored by 3.5 points, while the O/U has settled in the 188.5 to 189.5 range.

Indiana has the better straight up record (17-2) and has also been an excellent team to back, having gone 14-5 against the spread. The Spurs come in at 15-3 SU and 9-9 ATS.

Indiana Pacers

Pretty much everyone figured the Pacers would be very good this season, but they've exceeded a lot of people's expectations by storming out to own the NBA's best record through the first part of the season.

Indiana has been even better than normal over the last couple of weeks, going 8-1 over their past nine games while sporting a 7-2 ATS mark in those games. Highlight victories include ones over Minnesota and the LA Clippers.

The Pacers have been off for a couple days after Wednesday's 95-86 road win over Utah in which they cashed as 8.5-point favorites. Despite a rough shooting night from long distance (3-of-16 for 18.8 percent), Indiana used a big fourth quarter (27-19) to grab the win. They shot 47.6 percent overall.

Paul George couldn't get his shot going but still ended up with 19 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Lance Stephenson chipped in with 15 points, five rebounds and four assists and Roy Hibbert, David West, George Hill and Luis Scola all reached the double-digit mark in scoring as well.

Another well-balanced effort will be needed from the Pacers against the Spurs here tonight, that much we know.

NBA Picks: Saturday Picks of the Day

San Antonio Spurs

Because San Antonio's game against Minnesota in Mexico City was canceled, it's been a while since we've seen the Spurs in action.

Their last game was a close one, as they barely escaped with a 102-100 home win over Atlanta. Entering the matchup San Antonio was favored by a whopping 12 points, so needless to say it wasn't the most convincing of efforts from Gregg Popovich's crew.

One man who certainly was convincing was Tim Duncan. He had his best game of the season, scoring 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting and adding 21 rebounds and two blocks in 34 minutes. Tony Parker went for 15 points and seven assists and Boris Diaw had 16 points off the bench.

Popovich will be expecting more energy out of his guys tonight, especially after such a long layoff.

The Spurs have lost just one time (8-1 SU) at the AT&T Center this season, but are just 4-5 ATS in those games. They really need to play well in order to avoid a second defeat at the hands of last year's Eastern Conference runners-up.

NBA Pick

This is a potential NBA Finals matchup here and each team's early season performances back that statement up. The Spurs and Pacers have both been phenomenal here in the early goings.

Where should we go with our NBA picks?

We actually like Indiana to show up and prove they're for real tonight. The Pacers, who are 8-2 ATS on the road this year, have been playing with a lot of swagger and confidence this season and they're acting as if every regular season game is the playoffs.

On the other side, the Spurs are obviously playing well, but we're just not convinced they're going to be as hungry as the road team. Let's side with Indiana to cover.

Pick: Indiana Pacers +3.5


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