NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Pacers

Jeff Grant

Friday, April 5, 2013 11:28 AM GMT

Friday, Apr. 5, 2013 11:28 AM GMT

The Oklahoma City Thunder will close out one of their more difficult back-to-back situations of the 2012-13 NBA season Friday night, as they prepare to take on the defensive-minded Indiana Pacers.


Let’s take a closer look at the NBA betting odds for this non-conference affair at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, with the opening tip scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET.

Closing in

Oklahoma City would love to play as many games as possible at Chesapeake Energy Arena during the upcoming 2013 NBA playoffs, which was apparent in its 100-88 victory over the San Antonio Spurs as 7.5-point home favorites Thursday night.

The Thunder are now a half-game behind the Spurs for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference standings, as they look to improve upon their 20-11 straight up (SU) and 13-17-1 against the spread (ATS) record in April the last two-plus seasons.

Streaking

Indiana has scored 100 or more points in winning its last five games, including an impressive 109-106 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers as five-point road underdogs Monday night, while going OVER the posted total of 188.

The Pacers are 8-6 SU and 5-9 ATS after three or more consecutive wins this season, with the OVER going 8-6 in that particular situation.

Quite a matchup

Oklahoma City is tied with Houston for the league’s top offense in averaging 106.0 points per game, but it will have a hard time reaching that type of number at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, considering Indiana is second in the league in scoring defense (89.9 ppg).

NBA handicappers need to take a long look at the underdog when looking over the SBR Odds page, as the Thunder are 11-2 SUATS when facing good defensive teams that allow 91 points or less per game.

Day(s) of rest

There’s no question that the Pacers seemingly have an advantage in this game due to not playing since Monday, while the Thunder are closing out one of the more difficult back-to-back situations any team will face this season.

It’s important to consider that Oklahoma City had four days of rest before its victory over San Antonio, while the franchise is 33-18 SU when playing on back-to-back days since the start of the 2010-11 campaign.

[gameodds]5/223909/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Thunder as one of their NBA picks Friday, as the underdog is 12-4 ATS in the last 16 meetings in this series, while the Pacers have won just four of their last 15 games in SU fashion as a home favorite of three points or less.

NBA Pick:  Oklahoma City Thunder +2.5 at Pinnacle

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