Indiana Pacers Are The NBA Pick As Road Chalk Visiting Phoenix Suns

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 7:46 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 7:46 PM UTC

The Pacers may be slumping having lost three straight games, but they can get back on track Tuesday night visiting one of the worst teams: the Suns. Don't miss our NBA picks!

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Free NBA Pick: Pacers -6½
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


The road team may be in a slump, but it could bust out vs. one of the best slump-busters in the NBA right now Tuesday night when those Indiana Pacers (22-19, 22-19 ATS) look to rediscover their best form as they pay a visit to the pitiful Phoenix Suns (13-29, 16-26 ATS) at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, AZ at 9:05 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - Arizona.

The point spread at Heritage has Indiana as a decided road favorite for this contest with the current line at -6½ on the NBA odds board at odds of -105.


Both Teams Slumping
Both of these teams are slumping entering this contest, but there is little doubt which team has more talent right now. That team would be the Pacers, as although they have been the losing NBA picks in their last three games since beating these Suns handily 116-97 back home in Indiana last Tuesday, Indiana still enters this contest as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference while ranking eighth in the NBA in points scored and ninth in points against.

Conversely, the Suns are in a much deeper slump that has seen them lose 13 of their last 14 games, and the last three losses have been by 19 points to these Pacers as mentioned, by 14 points to the Boston Celtics and most recently by 30 points Sunday to a Minnesota Timberwolves team that entered that contest on a nine-game losing streak!

The Suns are probably without their best player Eric Bledsoe for the rest of the season due to a torn meniscus, and it has not helped probably the best current player on the roster, Brandon Knight may be worn out due to averaging over 39 minutes over the last four games.


What Other Options Does Hornacek Have?
The Suns were considered major surprises two years ago when Jeff Hornacek took over as a rookie had coach and guided a team that was expected to be one of the worst in the league to a 48-34 record, and the Phoenix future still seemed bright last year before a second half collapse left the Suns four games under .500 at 39-43.

Still, many expected the Suns to make a playoff run this year, but Phoenix has played uninspired basketball all year and morale has been low with Markieff Morris rumored to be on the trading block since the off-season, with the latest rumors as recently as today having him possibly going to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Those constant rumors have seemingly affected Morris’s play as he is averaging just 10.6 points on 38.3 percent shooting and only 4.9 rebounds.

Then there is the lack of depth at the point guard spot with the injuries to Bledsoe and also Ronnie Price, leaving Hornacek no choice really but to play Knight for extended minutes with no other viable options available, which deviates from the deep backcourts Phoenix had in recent season before trading away Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas.

Add in a defense that is second to last in the league in points against at 106.9 per game and dead last in field goal percentage allowed at 47.6 percent and you get this 13-29 train wreck that recently lost at home to the Philadelphia 76ers and that is not only losing games regularly right now, but is also getting blown out on a nightly basis.


Pacers Still Well Balanced
So relatively speaking, the fact that the Pacers have lost three straight games and four of their last five does not seem so bad, especially since they remain a reasonable seven games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Central Division and have strong statistics on both ends of the court.

Indiana has always been a fine defensive team under Coach Frank Vogel, but the Pacers have changed their offensive philosophy this year by quickening their pace and often playing smaller, and the end result has been the best scoring average during the Vogel era at 102.7 points per game.

Paul George has had a great comeback season after missing almost all of last year with a broken leg as he is averaging 23.9 points and 7.4 rebounds, and off-season acquisition Monta Ellis is averaging 13.6 points and 5.0 assists.

Best of all, the Pacers have improved their offense without compromising their defense all that much, as Indiana is allowing 99.6 points per game on 44.2 percent shooting while ranking sixth in the league in three-point defense at 32.9 percent.


Snapped 9-0 ATS Streak
Finally, while we totally get that the last covering win by the Pacers over the Suns in Indianapolis snapped a 9-0 ATS run by Phoenix in this head-to-head series, please keep in mind that the Suns were never as bad as they are right now while accumulating that 9-0 run and we feel that lessens the chances of Phoenix rebounding here with an avenging win or cover.

With this in mind and given the distressing lack of competitiveness by the Suns in their losses as of late, we look for a safe win by Indiana here possibly by double-digits again this time visiting Phoenix on Tuesday night.

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