Wizards vs. Pacers
The NBA odds have the Pacers as large favorites in this game, despite possibly being without one of their best players. The early NBA odds have the Pacers as -9 ½ favorites with a total of 186 ½. While I think the spread may be a bit too inflated, I see the total as having even more value. Both of these teams are top 10 defensively, and I see them both showing up in that area tonight in Indy.
Lance Stephenson could miss his second straight game, and he is the reason why these NBA odds are so late coming out this morning. He missed the Pacers’ game on Wednesday with a knee injury, and even though he isn’t quite the most important Pacer, he is on the top three list. His defense would be really counted on in this game up against Bradley Beal, and his offensive contributions are always very undervalued.
Either way it goes with Stephenson, it looks as if the under is the play tonight. The Pacers are the #1 home defensive teams in the NBA this season, only allowing their opponents 83.5 points per game and 41% shooting. The Wizards have been known to struggle scoring on the road this season, and especially with their undervalued defense, I see a very low scoring game tonight between these two.
The under is 7-1 in the last eight times these two have played one another in Indianapolis, and the Pacers have now cashed the under in five straight games extending back to 2013. I see this being a game where one or both don’t get out of the 80s.
My Pick: UNDER 186 ½
Mavs vs. Pelicans
One of the more interesting games of the night is the Mavs and Pelicans, where the NBA odds have the Pels as a -2 favorite, with a total of 199 ½. While most games have larger spreads tonight, this is one of only a couple of the 12 games that have spreads of two points or less. However I am much more interested in the total, which looks to have some value emerging as the day goes on.
After opening at 201, the total has dropped some and I think it’s opening some value. Neither one of these teams are very good defensively, and both have the ability to score with ease. The Pelicans are the 11th best scoring team when playing at home this season, averaging 104 points per game in New Orleans. The Mavs only average 102 points per game when playing on the road this season, but against the West, the Mavs tend to give up a ton of points. Western conference opponents are averaging over 106 points per game against the Mavs this season, and I see that leading to the over being the play.
New Orleans is also 9-6 this season cashing the over at home, and after a loss this season, the Pelicans are 11-7 cashing the over in their next game. The over has also cashed in four of the last five home games for New Orleans. Look for these two teams to take advantage of this undervalued total and cash the over for your NBA Picks.
My Pick: OVER 199 ½