Indiana has every reason to go all out against Oklahoma City and is an opening 2-point favorite on NBA odds with a total of 192.5. Portland also has reason to care as it hosts Golden State as a 3-point favorite with a total of 203 at sportsbooks.
Thunder vs. Pacers
It could be an NBA Finals preview on Sunday in this one: sportsbooks list the exact Oklahoma City-Indiana matchup at +1000. And the Pacers caught a major break Saturday when Miami lost in Atlanta. That essentially wiped out Indiana's 98-86 loss in Miami on Friday night that temporarily gave the Heat the No. 1 seed in the East. So if the Pacers win here and Wednesday in Orlando, home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference is theirs.
This is obviously a grassy-knoll type theory, but perhaps the Thunder (20-19 ATS, 20-19 O/U on road at sportsbooks) think long term here and help the Pacers (20-19-1 ATS, 15-25 O/U) get home court. The Thunder would never admit that, but I guarantee you a few in the front office have thought about it. Let's be clear: OKC and every Western team would rather face Indiana than Miami in the Finals. And in reality the Thunder have squat to play for. They are the West No. 2 seed no matter what. OKC also plays Monday night in New Orleans so Russell Westbrook will sit one of them out.
Back on Dec. 8, Indiana was routed 118-94 in Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant had 36 points and 10 rebounds and Westbrook had 26 points and 13 assists. The Thunder led by as many as 29 in the first half and shot a season-high 61 percent from the field. Paul George had 32 points but the other four Pacers starters combined for 35 and just one free-throw attempt (George was 10-for-11 from the line). Oklahoma City has won three straight overall in this series.
Warriors vs. Trail
This game means next to nothing for Golden State (20-18-1 ATS, 14-25 O/U on road at sportsbooks), as it is likely to finish No. 6 in the Western Conference no matter the result. The Blazers should be duly motivated, however, as the No. 4 seed is still in play between them and Houston. That of course means home-court advantage in a first-round playoff matchup between the two.
The Blazers (18-21 ATS, 20-18-1 O/U at home) have won three straight and seven of eight. They close with a home game Wednesday against the Clippers, who won't have anything to play for. Houston hosts San Antonio on Monday and is at New Orleans on Wednesday. The Rockets hold the head-to-head tiebreaker against Portland 3-1.
Golden State is probably going to open the postseason against the Clippers in what has to be the best first-round matchup of them all. The Warriors won 112-95 at the Lakers on Friday behind 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds from Stephen Curry. He became the first Warrior with four triple-doubles in a season since some guy named Wilt Chamberlain 51 years ago.
In a minor upset, the Warriors got back power forward David Lee in that game. He had been ruled out indefinitely, with Coach Mark Jackson hinting that Lee might miss postseason games, with a leg injury. Lee had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Golden State played the Lakers without forward Andre Iguodala and backup center Jermaine O'Neal. Were it a postseason game both could have played. Both are questionable for this one and because it's not all that vital it's fair to wonder if either plays. Ditto center Andrew Bogut, who always seems one play from being injured.
Golden State is 2-1 against Portland this season and won the most recent matchup, 113-112 at the Blazers on March 16. Klay Thompson hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 11.1 seconds left in his return after missing a game due to his grandfather's funeral. Curry had 37 as the Warriors rallied from an 18-point hole. Portland played without its best player, All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Portland is 7-1 since he returned from a back injury.
NBA Parlay Picks: Pacers -2 and over 203 points in Warriors-Blazers. That would pay out at around +237 with Indiana approximated at +130 on the moneyline on that number and the total in the Portland game at -110. OKC is 1-4 in its past four road games against teams with a winning home record and probably sits Westbrook. The over is 5-2 in the past seven Warriors-Blazers games.