Friday Double-Dribble: Heat Won't Overlook Sorry Knicks

Jordan Sharp

Friday, April 6, 2018 2:00 PM UTC

Friday, Apr. 6, 2018 2:00 PM UTC

We hit on both of our Thursday NBA picks to create another pair of winning tickets. We’ve cashed three of our last four overall, and Friday I plan on making it 5-for-6. 

Pacers at RaptorsFree NBA Pick: Over 106 1HBest Line Offered: JustBet

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The Indiana Pacers are coming off another huge and unexpected win against the Golden State Warriors, and now after blowing out the defending champs at home the Pacers have another tough test Friday as they travel to Toronto to play the #1 seed in the East.

Their three matchups so far have all been decided by three possessions or less, and tonight with the Pacers coming off an emotional home win on Thursday, their defense is going to take a hit. If there has been one constant in the first three meetings that could stay around for the fourth game it's the first-half offense. Combined with a lack of defense at times, and the first-half total looks like a steal of a value at only 106 points.

These teams have averaged scoring a combined 113 points in the first halves of their three games so far this season. Take a look at the Pacers’ first-half offense from Thursday. They have forgone their slower pace they adopted after the All-Star break and are back to running and gunning, especially in the first half. There were a ton of shot attempts in the earlier stages of the shot clock Thursday, and I expect that to continue against Toronto. Look for both teams to combine for about 110 points in the first half.

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Heat at KnicksFree NBA Pick: Heat -8½Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Now that Kyrie Irving is done for the season, the final three seeds in the Eastern Conference are going to be gunning for the sixth seed. That could affect the betting odds for these teams down the stretch, especially tonight for the Heat against the Knicks.

The Heat play their last road game of the season on Friday in a game they should win. If they do, they only need to win one more game to clinch the 6th seed in the East and lock up what will likely be a matchup with LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the first round. However, the Heat’s last two games are against the Thunder and the Raptors, two very losable games if the Heat decide to rest or taper their starters.

They might do that in order to give them a chance to fall back to the 7th seed. Washington and Milwaukee both have easier schedules to close out the season, and if I were the Heat I would win this game convincingly and then rest their starters for the final two games of the season.

If that’s the case, tonight could be the last time the Heat have a playoff warm-up, which means they won’t just want to win this game, they will want to win it early enough to get their core players some rest. If that’s the case, the Knicks stand no chance of winning or covering. New York is coming off a 73-point performance against the Magic, a very bad defense, and they might not get to 80 points again if Michael Beasley is still out.

Beasley had to miss Wednesday’s game because of an illness, and with him questionable, Enes Kanter doubtful and Kristaps Porzinigis out for the season, the Knicks have Tim Hardaway Jr. and a bunch of scrubs if Beasley can’t play. That is going to lead to a sloppy home game for New York, and a cover for the road team.

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