Both the Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers have exceeded expectations. The Pacers were expected to be good but nobody envisioned a 16-1 start. As for the Blazers, experts figured they had potential but they’re at 13-3. Monday’s meeting will be very interesting considering the close spread in the NBA odds.
The Indiana Pacers can win because…
Nothing stops them these days. They enter Monday’s matchup as the best team in the NBA, riding a seven-game winning streak. Their defense has been ridiculously good as they lead the league in that category (86.5 points per game). The Los Angeles Clippers managed to drop 100 on them on Sunday night but prior to that, their last three opponents averaged 77 points per game. The Pacers are rolling along right now, they’re confident and it all starts with their defense. They’ll stymie the Blazers and dictate the pace in this one.
The Portland Trail Blazers can win because…
The Blazers may be one of the toughest teams the Pacers have faced. Sure, the Pacers handled Lob City on Sunday but the Clippers defense sucks. Portland not only ranks among the NBA leaders in points per game (104 per game), they are also among the leaders in defense (99.0). This team is not a fluke; they are complete and they work on both ends of the court.
On the year, they are 6-1 at the Rose Garden with their only home loss coming to the Houston Rockets. This is good value – getting them as a home dog on the NBA odds – so take them with your NBA picks.
Outlook & Pick
First off, take note that both teams are in a back-to-back situation. For the Pacers, it’s their third game in four nights. That being the case, I’m willing to take a shot with the Trail Blazers as sportsbooks are listing them as a slight 1.5-point home dog. This game is pretty much a coin flip as these are two evenly matched teams. I’ll bank on fatigue being the difference.
Pick: Blazers +1.5 at BetOnline