Good Pacers, Bad Pacers
Game 5 saw the Pacers revert back to ‘Bad Pacers’ and they lost by 30 points at home. This is exactly what people thought was going away after Indiana won three straight in this series, but apparently the Pacers are still dealing with whatever the hell they are dealing with. Now on the road in Washington, DC, the NBA odds have Washington as a -4 ½ favorite, with a total of 181.
The Pacers’ defense was absolutely horrible in Game 5, with Roy Hibbert and George Hill being the main culprits. Marcin Gortat had the first 30 and 15 game in the playoffs since Dwight Howard did it, and ironically, Gortat used to back up Howard in Orlando. Hibbert’s play was especially troubling, as he was as ineffective on defense as he was on the offensive end.
John Wall got anything he wanted as well, and if those two are winning their position battles, this Wizards team may have some fight left in them after losing three straight games. While I don’t think the Pacers are going to lose this series, I have no confidence in betting them ATS in Game 6, or for the rest of this series.
However after cashing the 'under' in Game 5, I think we may be able to go back to it in Game 6. We cashed the 'under' in a blowout with one team going above 100 points, so in what should be a closer elimination game on Thursday, I think we can back the 'under' once again and have just as much, if not more value for our sports picks.
The Sharp Pick
The 'under' has been a very good bet over the last several years in playoff elimination games. In games where one or both of the teams are facing elimination, normally games are a great under bet. This season has been the exception until last night, but after two 'unders' cashed in last night’s action, the under is 8-7 this postseason in games where at least one team is facing elimination.
We should see another game go 'under' here between Washington and Indiana, because not only are the Wizards facing elimination once again, but the Pacers, who seem like the team with the most pressure right now, could be dealing with issues once again.
After Game 5, the 'under' has now cashed in three of the five games this series, and for Indiana, the 'under' is now 8-3 in their last 11 postseason games. The Pacers will probably be much more focused on the defensive end in Game 6, and even though they are on the road, I’m not buying into the “Washington Momentum Theory.” Even though I do think they will carry their momentum from Game 5 into Game 6, the Wizards will be much more effective on the defensive end than offense. I say this because even though the Pacers’ offense is in shambles, their defense is the first thing that will come back if they come into this game focused. For tonight's NBA picks, I look for Indiana to bounce back and not allow the Wizards to drop over 100 again, and I see Washington continuing their strong effort on defense.
My Pick: UNDER 181