NBA Picks: Bulls vs. Pacers

PJ Laferla

Monday, February 4, 2013 2:49 PM GMT

The Indiana Pacers will play the first game of their only back-to-back-to-back stretch of the 2012-13 NBA season Monday night, as they host the Chicago Bulls at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.


Let’s take a closer look at the NBA betting odds for this Eastern Conference affair.

Trip continues

Chicago has won two of three to being its current six-game road trip, including a convincing 93-76 victory over the Atlanta Hawks as seen-point road underdogs Saturday, while going UNDER the total for the first time in three contests.  The Bulls played that affair without the services of three key players, with Kirk Hinrich (elbow) and Joakim Noah (foot) both being listed as out for this game, while Carlos Boozer (hamstring) is questionable.

Potential letdown spot

Indiana has won back-to-back games since dropping three in a row, as it comes off an impressive 102-89 victory over the Miami Heat as two-point home underdogs last Friday, while going OVER the total for the third time in four opportunities.  The Pacers are 3-9 against the spread (ATS) after a straight-up win this year, while going UNDER the total in eight of their last 10 contests in that situation.

Falling short against the league’s best defenses

Sports bettors are certainly going to be tempted in backing the Bulls as a road underdog when a number is sent out on the pro basketball odds page, but it’s important to note that they’ve gone 0-3 ATS versus teams that allow 91 points or less this season, with all three going below the posted total.  The Pacers allow just 86.9 points per game on their home floor.

Home-court advantage

When looking over the current NBA standings with less than two weeks until the All-Star break, it’s very hard to look past the Pacers tremendous 18-3 home record, which includes a 9-1 mark versus conference rivals.  Indiana is 13-8 ATS in front of its home fans this season, while the UNDER is 13-8 in that situation.  

Uptick in scoring

The Pacers aren’t an offensive juggernaut, but they’ve managed to score 98-plus points in six of their last nine games, including reaching the century mark in three of the last four.  After scoring 100-plus points just three times in its first 25 games, Indiana has accomplished that feat in seven of its last 22.

[gameodds]5/217151/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their NBA picks Monday night, as I believe both sides will fail to match their normal defensive intensity, especially the Bulls in playing their fourth straight road game.  The OVER is 18-13 in the Pacers last 31 opportunities when playing with two days rest.

NBA Free Picks:  Over 175

Check out the Picks of the Day for Monday to stay ahaead of the Bookies!