NBA Picks of the Day: ATS & 1st Half Odds To Bust Your Bookie

Jordan Sharp

Saturday, March 19, 2016 2:31 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 19, 2016 2:31 PM UTC

Saturday’s NBA Odds aren’t as plentiful, but there are still some great value plays tonight, and I have found two that I am willing to label my best bets to tip off the weekend. 

Guess who’s back, degenerates? I’m a new daddy and it’s time to bring back our NBA Picks of th Day

Thunder vs. Pacers
The Thunder won easily against the Sixers last night, and now they head into Indiana tonight to play a tough Pacers team. While Indiana is a solid opponent and a great inter-conference showdown for the Thunder tonight, the Thunder are one of the tougher challenges the Pacers have faced all season too, especially on the defensive end.

The Thunder have been crushing it offensively as of late, as they come into tonight averaging 123 points per game over their last three contests. While the Thunder are only 6-7 ATS playing on no rest, their lack of fourth quarter minutes last night makes them appealing again here in Indianapolis.

Tonight the Pacers are a +3 underdog at home however, and that is not a number I am willing to bet against. The total of 210 is not that bad, but it has been going down since it opened at 212 ½. A better play might be just the first half total of 107, however. The Thunder come into this one averaging more than 57 points in the first half of their road games this season, and with the Pacers averaging 50 points in first halves at home this season, the over seems like a great play.

In those last three games, the Thunder are averaging 62 points per first half, and while I fully expect the Pacers to bring their A-game defensively in the first half of this one, with the Thunder coming off the back to back, I’m banking on the Pacers wanting to push the pace in the first half. Both of these teams play at a pace that ranks them inside the top ten, and the Thunder actually tend to play a little faster in the first halves of their games.

While OKC has not been great at cashing the over on the second half of back to backs this season, if you take away their last two road back to backs against the Spurs and Warriors, in their two previous road back to backs, the Thunder and their opponent averaged more than 125 points in the first halves of those games.

With the injury concerns to Ian Mahinmi and Serge Ibaka tonight, those are two of the better rim protectors in this game. I’m seeing a fast-paced game, especially in the first half at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, so add the over in the first half.

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Free NBA Pick: 1st. Half-OVER 107 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


Rockets vs. Hawks
Even after getting blown out twice in their last four games, and getting taken to the wire by an inferior Wolves team last night, the Rockets head into Atlanta tonight as the 7th seed in the Western Conference, which is more of a testament to how (finally) the Mavericks are collapsing, and how bad the Jazz have been over the last six weeks. However, this nightmare of a season for the Rockets would all be forgotten if they could climb up the standings and get a first round upset.

The problem for Houston is their schedule gets tough down the stretch, and including tonight, they face nine straight games where eight of the teams are playoff teams, and the one team not in it is the Jazz, who are chasing Houston in the standings. However tonight, the Rockets are a +7 underdog heading into Atlanta, and they are coming in off the back to back.

The Rockets are 7-10 ATS this season when playing on no rest, but once again while that record isn’t horrible, you have to look deeper into the season when it comes to games on no rest. In their last eight games playing on the second night of a back to back, the Rockets are only 2-6 ATS.

On top of that, while the Hawks own a winning ATS record against the West, and one of the best defenses in the league, the Rockets are only 9-16 ATS this season when playing the East, one of the worst inter-conference ATS records of any team. That even includes three straight ATS wins on a long Eastern Conference road trip, so at times they have been even worse against the East. Considering they are only 5-7 ATS on the road against the East, and coming off the back to back, I am laying the points tonight. As long as Kent Bazemore is available to chase around James Harden, the Rockets won’t have enough firepower to best the Hawks’ resurgent defense on no rest.

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Free NBA Pick: Hawks -7
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes 

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