The Pacers had to travel late last night, so will that affect them too much to get the win or the cover tonight in Atlanta?
Pacers rested despite last night’s game
After the game last night against the Magic was close for a while, the Pacers ended up pulling away in the 2nd half, which led to their starters being well rested for tonight’s game. No Pacers starter outside of Lance Stephenson (37 minutes) played more than 27 minutes last night, which should really help them tonight against a much tougher opponent.
Even though this is technically a back to back, with the Pacers rested, they should come in and cover this spread. They will own the paint tonight against the very undersized Hawks, and I fully expect both Roy Hibbert and David West to occupy plenty of space on offense and defense. The Hawks’ Paul Millsap is a great player, but he is undersized for a power forward, and even though it’s a pretty even matchup, I expect West to win it.
That leaves Elton Brand and Gustavo Ayon to defend Hibbert, which would be like fighting the Viet Cong with a bow and arrow. The fact is the Pacers are once again undervalued, and it will lead to them being the play. I understand the NBA Odds smell like a trap, and I also understand how good the Hawks have been at home this season, (15-7 ATS) however the Pacers are the better team and will cover a close one tonight.
The Sharp Pick
The Pacers are only 4-8 ATS when playing on no rest, however with their starters not getting that many minutes last night, (outside of Lance Stephenson who had 37 minutes) I don’t think we can label this one a true back to back. The fact is even though the Hawks are a solid team, the Pacers are going to eat them up down low tonight, and –2 ½ is once again undervaluing one of the most undervalued teams in the NBA.
Atlanta won the first meeting between these two this season, so revenge could also be on the minds of the Pacers. However in the long run, the Hawks are only 3-6 SU against the Pacers in their last nine overall meetings. Indiana could potentially extend the ground between them and the idle Heat tonight, as Indy stands three games up on Miami for the East’s top seed.
Atlanta’s home defense is starting to become shaky, and if you take a sample from their last ten games, you’ll see their defense is crumbling. The Hawks have given up well over 105 points per game in their last ten games, and even though the Pacers played last night, they are still undervalued in Atlanta. We'll back the Pacers covering tonight in our NBA picks.
My Pick: Pacers -2 ½