NBA Betting: Can Pacers Get Back On Track vs. TrailBlazers Tonight?

Jason Lake

Sunday, February 28, 2016 3:38 PM GMT

Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016 3:38 PM GMT

It looks like the NBA odds might be a bit too favorable for the Indiana Pacers when it comes to Sunday's home game against the Portland Trail Blazers. But is Portland fresh enough?

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Feb. 25: 23-29-1 ATS, 5-1-1 Total

Here we are again talking about the Indiana Pacers. We faded them in Friday's game against the Charlotte Hornets, and sure enough, Charlotte won 96-95 as a 3.5-point road dog on the closing line. Heck of a game. That leaves Indiana in the red at 31-27 SU and 28-29-1 ATS on the season. Still a lot better than last year, though.
Maybe the Pacers can get back on track Sunday (6:00 p.m. ET) when they host the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland will be playing on zero days of rest after beating the Chicago Bulls 103-95 on Saturday; the Blazers cashed in as 4-point road faves to improve to 31-28 SU and 33-26 ATS. Indiana is a 4.5-point home chalk on our NBA odds board as we go to press.

 

Stuckey Elementary
Not much new to report on the Pacers. Rodney Stuckey (12.2 PER, –2.5 BPM) did indeed make his return in the loss to Charlotte, playing 12 minutes off the bench and shooting just 1-for-6; Stuckey was a useful addition to Indiana's roster last year, so let's see if he can get his groove back now that he's healthy. Otherwise, the Pacers had their chances against Charlotte – they shot just 4-of-19 from long range, so a kind bounce or two would have been enough to get the win.
The Trail Blazers don't need much help these days. Saturday's big win over Chicago was their seventh in eight games, going 6-2 ATS in the process and vaulting into playoff position in the Western Conference. Not bad for a team that was supposed to collapse after losing four of their five starters from last year.

 

That Not-So-Fresh Feeling
The math says this might be a decent spot for putting the Blazers in our NBA picks. Basketball-Reference has them at +0.72 on the Simple Rating System, with the Pacers a bit further ahead at +2.07 SRS. Let's see, carry the one... that's somewhere around Indiana –4.5 or –5 at home. However, FiveThirtyEight has an Elo-based spread of Indiana –3 for Sunday's matchup. That's factoring in the zero days of rest, too.
We're going to have to go in the other direction this time. The Blazers might be deep and healthy enough to absorb the punishment of back-to-back games; however, they're only 4-8 ATS in this situation. Plus there's the added trip, however short, from Chicago to Indianapolis. Damian Lillard (22.9 PER, +4.6 BPM) played 35 minutes against the Bulls, dropping 31 points on 12-of-26 shooting. Nice, but it's been a long season already, and Lillard's defense still leaves plenty to be desired. He might have trouble getting up and down the court against Indiana, who ranks eighth in the NBA in pace at 99.6 points per 100 possessions. Gentlemen, start your engines.

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Free NBA Pick: Indiana -4.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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