NBA Picks: Back Favorite Pacers -13 Against Inexperienced Pelicans

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, March 24, 2016 11:10 AM GMT

Pelicans have been one of the most regressive teams in the NBA this season. They head into a tough matchup in Indiana tonight, because the NBA Odds favor the Pacers at -13. 

Pacers Battling For Playoffs
The Pacers know all about losing their best player to injury and having to deal with it. They are one year removed from losing Paul George for the season, and now with their best player back and after brining in Monta Ellis into the fold, the Pacers are well on their way to making a return to the playoffs. While they are also going through a transition of trying to play a little smaller and faster, this team could be dangerous to any team they face in the first round of the playoffs.

That being said, they have to get there first, and tonight should go a long way into getting there. They play a pretty easy schedule down the stretch, but with all the Pelicans injuries, will they grab this game from the very beginning and take it seriously, or will they play down to their competition?

The Pacers currently sit in the seventh seed heading into tonight, but they are also in a three-team race for the final two spots in the playoffs. With the Bulls loss on Wednesday, it makes it easier for the Pacers, but they also do not own the tiebreaker with the Bulls, so they need to win tonight and a lot during their final 12 games.

However, for tonight’s game, despite the spread being pretty daunting, the Pacers seem to be a pretty good play. The Pelicans are only 14-21 ATS this season when playing on the road, where the Pacers are in the midst of a nice five-game home stand where they have won two and lost two, but player tough against better teams like the Thunder and Raptors, barely missing the cover.

 

The Sharp Pick
Another big factor in this game has been the Pacers’ time off for this one. Indiana has had two full days off in between their win against the Sixers and tonight’s game. This season when the Pacers have at least 2-3 days off in between games, they are a league-best 9-2 ATS.

The Pelicans will likely be without Ryan Anderson again tonight, and of course Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans have already been ruled out for the season. The could also be without Norris Cole again as well, and with an inexperienced backcourt going against the 1-3 combo or George Hill, Ellis and George, the Pels stand no chance in this one. Even though the Pacers can be exploited on the boards, the Pelicans have been known to give up some rebounds as well.

Another factor for this one will be the Pacers’ defense. Even though they have struggles at times against the West, it’s a different story at home. Indiana has also improved a little at home in their defense lately, and on the year they are giving up less than 99 points per game when playing at home. They are also one of the best Defensive Rated teams in the league this season, and I expect them to show that tonight.

The Pelicans on the other hand have given up an average of 107 points per game on the road this season, and nearly 114 per game over their last five road games. I see the Pacers holding the Pelicans well below 100 points tonight, and for Indiana to cover the -13. While the number now isn’t bad, you may also be able to get it slightly lower too, so I am waiting to lock this NBA pick in until later so see what kind of value we can get from the NBA odds line movement.

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NCAA Basketball Free Pick: Pacers -13. 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle