There is a full slate of games and a complement of NBA odds to go along with them but which matchups can we exploit in our NBA picks to fatten our wallets?
Cavaliers vs. Pacers
The Cavs hosted the Warriors last night but now must pack their bags and begin the weekend by dribbling into hostile territory against a team that has caught fire recently. The Indiana Pacers had a brutal start to the season but have won eight of their last 12 and despite a loss in their most recent game to the Oklahoma City Thunder they still played well for three of four quarters in their 105-92 loss.
Offense is the major reason why the Pacers have gotten hot. They are currently ranked 24th in points scored but before their winning streak that ranking was in the cellar. In their last 12 games they are 8-4 straight up and against the number in NBA Odds but not so coincidentally they have won every game in which they broke the 100 point barrier. In the four games they lost they failed to do that. This is a team that has a sound defensive core to begin with currently ranked 7th in points allowed and 7th in rebounding.
In their last meeting with the Cleveland the Pacers defeated the Cavs 103-99 as six-point underdogs. I look for a similar outcome with Indiana matching up well in the paint while containing LeBron and Company defensively. Okay, so maybe they don't come away with an outright victory but I'll take this new-look Pacers squad against a weary Cavaliers team coming off a plane from a late night engagement with the Warriors last night.
NBA Pick: Indiana Pacers +6
Spurs vs. Kings
San Antonio has yet to win a game since the All-Star break and looked outclassed Wednesday night when they tangled with the Trailblazers in Portland resulting in a 111-95 blowout. The Spurs were installed as 3 ½ point underdogs in NBA odds but could have been getting 13 ½ and it still wouldn't have mattered. But tonight things get right for the Spurs as they continue their winding road trip in Sacramento.
The Spurs have allowed an average of 107.5 points per game and 48.6 percent shooting since the All-Star break but hit only 42 percent from the field in their last two contests. And we must not forget that the Kings have a new veteran coach in George Karl who has energized this team since he took over after the break. DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay are the proverbial straws that stir the drink in Sacramento but against a veteran team like the defending NBA champs.
Just wait and see Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard exploit the porous defense of the Sacramento Kings and you will see a team break out of their funk in a hurry. The Kings obviously have gotten a lift from new coach George Karl while San Antonio is mired in the muck of a road funk they can't seem to shake. But both teams will eventually rise or fall, depending upon which team we are referring, to their customary selves and we like the Spurs to be ready to beat up on a weak sister that has been playing hard as of late.
While we are not normally inclined to lay points on the highway with NBA picks, sometimes you have to break that golden rule, and in this circumstance we will do just that. Tim Duncan and his band of Spurs should have little problem scoring tonight and if Sacramento starts to stutter down low it will be a blowout win by the visitors.
NBA Pick: San Antonio Spurs -5 at BetOnline