Blazers' Star Power Too Much For Depleted Pacers: Bet Portland -4

Monday, March 18, 2019 3:25 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 18, 2019 3:25 PM UTC

The Pacers are coming off a great two-point win over the Thunder and a bad two-point loss to the Nuggets. Can they bounce back and keep pace in the East playoff race in a game Monday against the Blazers in Portland?

<p style="text-align:right"><em>Jordan’s NBA Picks: 38-23</em></p><p style="text-align:center"><b>Indiana (44-26 SU &amp; 35-34 ATS) at Portland (42-27 SU &amp; 39-30 ATS) </b></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Monday, 10:30 PM EST, ESPN</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Free NBA Pick: <a href="" target="_blank">Blazers ATS</a></strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=BetOnline" target="_blank">BetOnline</a></strong></p><p style="text-align:center">[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3568954, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,999998,19,999996,169], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>We’ve had a slight breakdown on our NBA Picks over the last week, but luckily, we’ve collected enough profit to pad our bankroll some during this downturn. However, a late night inter-conference game has caught my eye and a play on the Blazers and Pacers is going to get us back on track.</p><h2>Blazers’ Home Cooking</h2><p>Enough can’t be said about the Blazers advantages this season when they have played at home. Not only are they 25-9 SU and 21-13 ATS when playing at the Moda Center, their advanced metrics have been just as impressive as their money-making <a href="" target="_blank">ability to cover the spread</a>.</p><p>Portland ranks third in the league with a 115.5 offensive rating when playing at home. That’s behind only Houston (115.8) and Denver (117.1) for the best home court offenses in the league.</p><p>Their defense gets better too, limiting opponents to 107.7 points per 100 possessions.</p><p>Like Houston and Denver, the feasting gets even better when it’s an Eastern Conference team coming to town. Portland is averaging 118 points per 100 possessions in their 12 home games against East teams. That also ranks third behind the Rockets and Nuggets. They are also 10-2 SU and 8-4 ATS in those 12 games.</p><h2>The Sharp Pick</h2><p>The Pacers have gone 11-10 SU since Victor Oladipo got hurt nearly two months ago and since then this team has turned from a dangerous dark horse to a middling Eastern Conference team just trying to desperately hold onto the ground they built up when Oladipo was playing at a borderline MVP level.</p><p>Now without him, their offense is prone to long stretches of drought where better teams simply pull ahead and don’t look back. At home they are still dangerous due to their tough defense and loud crowds, but on the road has been a different story this season.</p><p>Indiana is averaging 108.9 points per 100 possessions on the road this season, but since Oladipo went down, their road offensive rating has fallen off a cliff. In the 11 road games Oladipo has missed since his season-ending ruptured quad tendon, the Pacers are scoring just 103.3 points per 100 possessions. They are 3-8 SU and ATS during that stretch.</p><p>The <a href="" target="_blank">spread for this one</a> has already lengthened by more than a point since it opened, but four points is still not enough for this Blazers team. Jusuf Nurkic and the Blazers’ deep frontcourt is going to beat up the smaller Pacers all night and without a rebounding or defensive advantage, the Blazers’ guards will make the right plays and keep Portland comfortably in the lead of this one.</p><p>Of course, the Blazers will be without C.J. McCollum after he suffered a scary, but not serious knee injury over the weekend.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Sources: Portland guard CJ McCollum has a popliteus strain in his left knee. He will be re-examined in a week.&lt;/p&gt;— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;March 17, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>However, with the acquisition of Rodney Hood at the deadline, along with Seth Curry, Jake Layman, and Evan Turner all available to fill the void left by McCollum, I don’t see his absence affecting Portland too much at home. Damian Lillard and Nurkic will take on heavier roles on offense, while those aforementioned guards/wings should be able to each chip in an extra four to six points apiece to make up for McCollum sitting out.</p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Final Score Prediction: Pacers 106 – Blazers 112</strong></p>
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