Knicks Cannot Keep Pace With Indiana in ESPN Wednesday Opener

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 6:13 PM UTC

Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 6:13 PM UTC

The first game of an ESPN NBA doubleheader on Wednesday night has the Indiana Pacers spending Halloween at the World's Most Famous Arena and favored to beat the struggling Knicks.

Doug's NBA Season Record: 2-1 ATS

Indiana (4-3 SU, 4-3 ATS) at New York (2-5 SU, 5-2 ATS)Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)Free NBA Pick: Pacers ATSBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Indiana had gotten off to a good start to their season but could not keep pace with Portland in their own building on Monday and lost 103-93 as 3.5-point favorites on the NBA odds to fall to 4-3.

After losing five in a row, New York caught Brooklyn at home after they had played Golden State the day before and nailed the Nets 115-96 as a single-digit favorite Monday.

With this game on Halloween and at Madison Square Garden, who knows what kind of ghoulish possibilities could be in store for either team.

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Pick & roll with @44Bojan & @yungsmoove21: pic.twitter.com/ghdvS7M2nM

— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) October 29, 2018
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Keeping Pace With Pacers

Three things come to mind about Indiana's start. First, they should be better than 4-3 as they have outscored opposing teams by 6.2 points a contest. That scoring differential is second-best in the Eastern Conference. Though we are still in the early stages of a long NBA campaign, the Pacers have to tighten up particular elements of their play.

Though Indiana is 6th in field-goal defensive percentage, they have allowed better than 47 percent shooting three times, and that is not good enough for a team wanting to contend for the Central Division title. The other is working cohesively on offense. After having 28 assists in road wins at Cleveland and San Antonio, the Pacers had only 19 in falling at home to the Trail Blazers.

Coach Nate McMillan summed up his thoughts this topic Monday: "That's something we have to continue to work at," McMillan said after the game. "We'll see film again, we're still working on establishing ourselves as a team, what works for us as a team."

Knicks News

New York will be better once they can get Kristaps Porzingis back from injury. Porzingis tore his ACL last February and the Knicks have not established a timetable for his return, preferring to take a very conservative approach until he is 100 percent ready.

While New York is only 2-5 under new head coach Dave Fizdale, they have been largely competitive against the spread, losing by only 4.0 PPG. The spark has come from leading scorer Tim Hardaway Jr., who's averaging a robust 24.4 PPG. Center Enos Kanter has also been a big factor also and is averaging a double-double, with 15.3 PPG and grabbing nearly 12 rebounds a contest. The Knickerbockers are 3-1 ATS at MSG.

The Outcome

For NBA picks, Indiana off a bad defeat should be the right choice, but they have dumped four in a row against the number in the Big Apple. That peeked our curiosity to dig deeper and that was when we found the favorite is 15-7 ATS in past 22 in the series and the Pacers are 7-2 ATS in last nine road games. The clincher for us is Indy is 16-5 ATS off a spread setback and 23-6 ATS following a double-digit loss at home.

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