NBA Picks: Grab A Profitable 'Under' As Raptors Try Adjusting Against Pacers

Jason Lake

Monday, April 25, 2016 5:17 PM GMT

The Toronto Raptors gnawed Game 4 of their first-round series with the Indiana Pacers. Does anyone trust them enough to put them in tonight's NBA picks?

Jason's 2015-16 record as of April 25: 36-40-1 ATS, 7-3-1 Total

Indiana Pacers vs. Toronto Raptors
Playoff basketball is all about adjustments. Heading into Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal between the Toronto Raptors and the Indiana Pacers, we had the opportunity here at the ranch to talk some hoops with a former national team member, and he was a bit more confident than we were about Indiana's ability to adjust after getting trounced in Games 2 and 3.

It's hard to tell at first blush whether the Pacers succeeded, or whether the Raptors simply handed the game to Indiana. Probably a bit of both. Final score: Pacers 100, Raptors 83, with Indiana cashing in as a 1-point home dog on the closing line. That squares the series at 2-2 as they prepare for Tuesday's Game 5 (6:00 p.m. ET, TNT) at the ACC. Toronto is a 7-point chalk on the NBA odds boards as we go to press.

 

April Anarchy
Before we conduct that autopsy on Game 4, let's consider the merits of simply auto-betting the UNDER for every series for the rest of the playoffs – or at least until the market adjusts, if it does. These games are really getting silly with the amount of violence being allowed. It was the right NBA pick for Sunday's brouhaha between the Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics, which went UNDER 203 on the closing line despite the Celtics winning 104-95 in overtime.

Back to Game 4 for a moment. As expected, the Pacers did start Myles Turner (15.4 PER, –2.3 BPM) at power forward, and he did indeed take advantage of Luis Scola (13.6 PER, –1.2 BPM) when they were on the floor together. But Turner shot 2-of-13 and finished the night with a plus-minus of zero. The story of this game, once again, was the poor shooting of Kyle Lowry (22.1 PER, +6.8 BPM) and DeMar DeRozan (21.5 PER, +1.4 BPM), who combined for 20 points on 8-of-27 from the floor.

 

Outside Job
Let's give some credit to the Pacers defense for harassing Toronto's backcourt, especially DeRozan. But how do we treat these Raptors going forward? Do we expect Lowry and DeRozan to regress positively toward the mean? In the long run, yes, but we might not see that regression manifest itself on Tuesday.

We also might not see Toronto head coach Dwane Casey make the adjustments that, in our humble opinion here at the ranch, have to be made for Game 5. The Raptors need better outside shooting, now that the Pacers are clogging the paint and making life a bit more difficult for Jonas Valanciunas (22.6 PER, +1.1 BPM). DeRozan (33.8 percent from downtown) isn't the right man for that job. Maybe we'll see Casey give Norman Powell (40.4 percent) some more burn in Game 5. Maybe. We'll go with the UNDER instead, and may the sphere be with you.

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Free NBA Pick: Under 191.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker