NBA Picks: Pacers vs. Raptors

Jeff Grant

Friday, March 1, 2013 11:58 AM GMT

Friday, Mar. 1, 2013 11:58 AM GMT

The Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors are the only opponents in the NBA this season to play three games decided by two points or less, which is important to consider when making your NBA picks tonight.

Let’s take a closer look at this Eastern Conference matchup from a betting perspective, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre.

Falling short without Hibbert

Indiana had its five-game winning streak snapped Thursday night, as it suffered a 99-91 setback to the Los Angeles Clippers as 1.5-point home favorites, while going UNDER the posted total of 192.5.

The Pacers played the contest without the services of starting center Roy Hibbert, who was serving a one-game suspension for taking part in an altercation against the Golden State Warriors Tuesday.

Raptors return home

Toronto will play just one home game in a 10-day span, as it looks to bounce back from a 103-92 defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers as 4.5-point road favorites Wednesday night, while going UNDER the total for the fifth time in six opportunities.

The Raptors are 2-5 against the spread in their last seven home games, while going UNDER the total in 18 of their last 24 at this particular venue when taking on a team with a losing road record.

Favorable situation for the visitor

The Pacers have won and covered the spread in seven of eight games when tipping off as a road favorite of six points or less this season, with the UNDER going 5-3 in that particular situation. 

Indiana earned a 90-88 season-opening victory over Toronto as 1.5-point road favorites Oct. 31, while falling short of the 190 points that NBA odds makers were asking for.

Getting after it defensively

Two of the top five defensive teams in the NBA last month are meeting up in this affair, which could lead to the UNDER cashing for the third time in four opportunities in this series. 

Indiana ranked second in allowing 88.2 points per game in February, while Toronto finished three spots behind in that particular category (93.5).

[gameodds]5/219705/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their NBA picks Friday night, as the Raptors have gone UNDER the number in six of their eight home games with a total between 185 and 189.5. 

NBA Pick:  Under 187 at BetOnline

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