NBA Picks: Hawks vs. Pacers

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 3:47 PM GMT

Free NBA picks for tonight's matchup between the Atlanta Hawks and the Indiana Pacers. Where do our NBA handicappers believe that the best value lies?

The month of February has been good to the Indiana Pacers (29-19) thus far, as they have accumulated victories over both Miami and Chicago. The Pacers are riding a 3 game winning streak and are 19-3 at home. They now take on the Atlanta Hawks (26-20) in a back to back situation. Have we decided to make the Pacers our NBA pick of the night? Read on to find out.

[gameodds]5/217219/43/us[/gameodds]

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The NBA odds boards currently lists the Pacers as a 5 point betting favorite, and the total for the game is 183.5.

The Unexpected Doing the Unexpected

With Boston rising to the occasion since Rajon Rondo’s injury and a Philadelphia 76’ers team that’s starting to pick it up, Atlanta is feeling the heat and can’t afford to slip any further down the Eastern Conference rankings.

The Hawks currently reside in the 6th spot in the Eastern Conference, but are coming off of a 93-76 beating from a Chicago Bulls team that’s not at full strength. From this performance, Indiana’s recent wins, and the Pacers being dominant on their home court, prospects of the Hawks flying into Indy and picking up a “W” don’t look too promising.

David the Destroyer

There’s nothing else that you can say about the massive power forward in the last 2 games; David West has been dominant in every sense of the word.

In his last two games, West has averaged 29.5 points, 8 rebounds, and 4.5 assists on 23 of 33 shooting from the field. If West continues to play like this, the Pacers will give the Heat and the Knicks a real run for their money.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, they’re next on the list. West has been solid throughout the season and will be tested against a Hawks team that allows just 95.9 points per game. If West were to have a 3rd consecutive monstrous game, it would be lights out for Atlanta.

Along with the overall game of Paul George and the defensive effort of 7 foot 2 center, Roy Hibbert, the Pacers are dominant on the inside. They’re 1st in the league in rebounding and Al Horford and Josh Smith will need to bring their “A game” to Indy.

Atlanta’s Answer to David West

Josh Smith doesn’t average 25 points per game, but he’s always capable of going “ham” (research that phrase). Smith can be out of control at times, but he can also be unstoppable. In Atlanta’s loss to Chicago, Smith led the Hawks in points, rebounds, and assists. This is a super-athletic former slam dunk competition competitor. The Pacers have the 2nd ranked defense in the league; The Hawks can only hope that Josh Smith plays to his fullest potential on Tuesday night.

Al Horford is a consistent walking double-double machine. That said, he’s the opposite of Josh Smith. He’ll shoot efficiently from the field and will be the model of consistency, but isn’t a game changer like Josh Smith or Paul George. Nonetheless, he needs to put up one of his better efforts for Atlanta to have any chance here.

Trends

Hawks are 0-7 ATS playing on 2 days rest

Head to Head Trends

The favorite is 18-5 ATS in the last 23 meetings

Home team is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings

Outcome

I love Indiana in this spot, and it looks like the odds makers have left us a true gift for our sports picks tonight with this line. Indiana has major momentum coming into this game and although well rested, the Hawks will be limping into this game. Look for David West and Paul George to be effective in a place where they play well.

NBA Picks: Indiana -5 at 5 Dimes

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