Free NBA Picks for Thunder vs. Pacers

Steven Suarez

Sunday, April 13, 2014 11:34 AM GMT

Sunday, Apr. 13, 2014 11:34 AM GMT

The Pacers continue to struggle and now have to contend with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. Indiana will have the home-court advantage today, however, and therefore enter as favorites in the NBA odds.

Odds Overview
Looking over the basketball betting lines, we find the Pacers favored by two points at most sportsbooks. The O/U is at 192.5.

On the season Indiana is 54-26 SU and 36-43-1 ATS, while Oklahoma City enters having gone 58-21 SU and 43-34-2 against the spread. 

[gameodds]5/261780/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Oklahoma City Thunder
With the regular season quickly winding down, the Thunder are finding their stride at the perfect time. They've won three straight and six of their last eight, with their two losses coming on the road against tough competition in Houston and Phoenix.

Two nights ago Oklahoma City had little trouble at home, beating the short-handed Pelicans 116-94. They were favored by 15.5 points by NBA oddsmakers before tipoff.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook made quick work of New Orleans, combining for 51 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds in the easy win. The Thunder shot 53.7 percent overall and scored 28 points on the fast break. They also killed the Pelicans (56-38 in points, 47-35 in rebounds) in the paint.

The Thunder are locked into the second seed in the Western Conference, but it remains to be seen who they'll be matched up with in the first round of the playoffs. Golden State, Dallas, Memphis and Phoenix are all still jockeying for position.

Whoever they face, Oklahoma City seems to be as focused as ever right now and that's bad news for the rest of the league. For those wondering, they come into this afternoon's game having gone 25-14 SU and 20-19 ATS on the road. 

 

Indiana Pacers
It's really been a rough month or so for the Pacers, who have gone 4-8 SU and 2-10 ATS over their last 12 games overall.

The latest setback came in Friday's 86-98 road loss at Miami, a game in which they were installed as 5.5-point underdogs. Indiana turned the ball over 16 times and was out-muscled inside by a team that's hardly renowned for its frontcourt prowess.

Individually, Paul George broke out a little bit with a nice 22/5/5 line, while David West had 18 points and eight rebounds before fouling out. It was a struggle, however, for George Hill and Roy Hibbert, who combined for a measly five points in all in the defeat.

Not only have the Pacers been stagnant on offense during this rough stretch, but their defensive intensity has also fallen off. They've held opponents to 92.4 PPG on 42.0 percent shooting overall on the season, but over their last five they've allowed 100.6 PPG on 45.6 percent.

The task gets even tougher now against two of the most explosive scorers in the league in Durant and Westbrook. Can Indiana rise up and get a win that very well could propel them to the number one seed in the East?

 

NBA Pick
Head-to-head history doesn't tell us much, as these two teams have only played each other once this season and that was all the way back in December. Oklahoma City won big (118-94) at home as 4.5-point favorites.

As for today's game, we just aren't ready to fade the Thunder at this point in time. They're playing great basketball at the moment and are locked in on both ends of the court.

The Pacers, on the other hand, are really struggling, and we think they're going to have a hard time once again versus Durant and company, that is if Westbrook isn't rested for some reason. Assuming everyone is active, we're taking the points and siding with Oklahoma City to cash as dogs for our NBA picks.

NBA Pick: Thunder +2

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