The Indiana Pacers began their present homestand with a pair of sizable victories over the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks, cashing at 2-0 ATS. Thursday’s NBA action sees Frank Vogel’s squad continuing its action at Bankers Life Fieldhouse against the New York Knicks, who will be without suspended star Carmelo Anthony.
Pacers, George hold off Heat
Indiana’s latest victory came in Tuesday’s 87-77 win as a two-point home dog over Miami, leading by as many as 17 points. The Pacers prevailed despite being held to a 36.3 percent night of field shooting, while sizably outrebounding Miami, 55-36.
Pacers forwards Paul George and David West each logged a double-double, uniting for 43 points and 22 boards. Indiana’s D.J. Augustin notched a team-high eight assists off the bench, while mate Ian Mahinmi recorded his squad’s sole two blocks in 18 minutes of action.
The battle’s combined 164 points plunged below the ‘total’ of 187, moving the UNDER to 7-1 in the Pacers’ last eight games. Indiana drilled 9-of-22 buckets beyond the arc, while edging out the Heat in paint points, 28-24.
Knicks blow lead in Boston
New York saw a two-game winning streak end with Monday’s 102-96 setback against the Boston Celtics, failing to cash as a 7 ½-point home favorite. The Knicks led by as many as 10 points, while the matchup was marred with a confrontation between New York’s Carmelo Anthony and Boston’s Kevin Garnett.
Knicks center Tyson Chandler notched his fifth double-double in six games, finishing with 13 points and 17 rebounds. Chandler’s mates J.R. Smith and Jason Kidd united to hit 6-of-12 shots from three-point land, logging team-highs of 24 points and six assists, respectively.
The duel’s combined 198 points jumped above the ‘total’ of 191 ½, lifting the OVER to 4-1 in the Knicks’ last five contests. New York outrebounded the Celtics, 42-36, while allowing Boston to connect from the field at a 52.7 percent clip.
Back the Pacers at home
The NBA odds makers at BetOnline.com opened Indiana as a 4 ½-point home favorite, while offering a money line of plus 165 on New York. Pacers guard George Hill (14.7 PPG) is listed as “questionable” due to an illness.
I am adding Indiana as home ‘chalk’ to my sports picks for the night’s action, looking for the Pacers to continue holding serve at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers have allowed a stingy 87.3 PPG on their floor this year, while cashing at 6-2 ATS in their last eight home dates.
Indiana was held to 39.4 percent field shooting in November’s 88-76 defeat to New York, but should find the rims easier in this revenge spot. The Pacers have connected 39.6 percent of their buckets outside the arc at home, while New York is 1-4-1 ATS in its last six road games.
Pacers center Roy Hibbert has logged 11 blocks over his last five games, ranking second in the Eastern Conference for the season (2.7 BPG). Look for Hibbert and Co. to shut down the Knicks here, adding another cashed ticket to Indiana’s 4-1 spread record over its last five games against foes with winning records.NBA Picks: Indiana Pacers -4.5