NBA Picks: Worn Out Suns Offense Won't Stand A Chance Over Pacers

Swinging Johnson

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 4:33 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 4:33 PM GMT

Two slumping teams collide in the desert as the Pacers try to break free of a three-game slump while the Suns’ season seems to have already set. Let’s isolate the sharp NBA pick.

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Free NBA Pick: Indiana -6½
Best Line Offered: at JustBet

 

Indiana Pacers (22-19 SU, 22-19 ATS)
?The Pacers are one of the more balanced teams in the league scoring an average of 102.7 points per game which ranks them 8th amongst the 30 NBA teams while their defense is allowing 99.6 PPG placing them 9th in that category. But while Indiana’s offense continues to click, their defense has suddenly abandoned them in four losses over their last five games. In those four defeats the Pacers have allowed a stunning 114.2 points per game including their last outing in which the Nuggets won a shootout 129-126 in regulation.

Indiana is now mired in a three-game losing streak and has gotten beaten on the boards 96-68 over their last two losses to Washington and Denver. The Nuggets lit up the Pacers’ defense for 45 fourth-quarter points on Sunday night to seal the deal for Denver. In fairness to Indiana, they were without the services of George Hill (personal reasons), Rodney Stuckey (sprained right foot) and Ian Mahinmi (sore left heel) and went with only 10 players in that contest. Offensively, Indiana was at its best in the first half against a porous Nuggets’ defense totaling 66 first half points and getting 62 points in the game from the bench.

 

Phoenix Suns (13-29 SU, 16-26 ATS)
The Pacers are not the only ones playing atrocious defense as the Suns, ranked 29th in points allowed averaging 106.9 per contest, have been even worse recently than their regular season average. Phoenix has allowed 113.4 PPG over their last seven contests and allows the league’s highest field goal percentage with opponents connecting on 47.6 percent of their shots from the field.

"These guys can't call themselves basketball players until you go out there and you try to stop somebody and get in front of somebody and take a charge or do something," said Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek.

The Suns have absolutely tanked over the course of their last 14 games, losing 13 of them straight up and obliterating bankrolls for all those who have backed them in their NBA picks over that stretch going 3-11 ATS. Even teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves, mired in their own nine-game shame spiral, got well in a hurry playing the Suns as they annihilated Phoenix by the score of 117-87 as three point home favorites on Sunday afternoon. There doesn’t seem to be a number the NBA odds makers can hang that is enough to give bettors a reason to back the Suns.

 

Betting Analysis
These teams got together in Indiana exactly one week ago when the Pacers, installed by the NBA odds makers as 12-point favorites, won and covered the number by the score of 116-97. Despite that win, the Suns are 4-1 straight up and ATS against the Pacers over the past five contests. But this season they have played just once and that convincing win by Indiana tells the tale of a Phoenix club that is tailspinning down to the basement of the Western Conference standings. They are not there yet, but give them time.

As poorly as the Pacers have played defensively recently, that is not reflective of who this team is and it is only a matter of time before they right that aspect of the game. And as long as Phoenix is without Eric Bledsoe (which is the remainder of the season according to reports), they are without their team leader and most talented player. Factor in that head coach Jeff Hornacek has been working Brandon Knight like a rented mule, averaging over 39 minutes per game over his last four, then you have the Suns’ chief offensive weapon worn out before he even takes the court against a solid defense like Indiana.

While I discourage laying points on the road, there are exceptions, and for tonight's game, this is one of them.

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