Pacers' Defensive Knack Plays Well in NBA Sweet Spots of Week

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Jay Pryce

Sunday, March 25, 2018 11:44 AM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 25, 2018 11:44 AM UTC

Our NBA betting sweet spots of the week target the Pacers' ability to slow hot-shooting offenses, the Nets' capacity to take advantage of cold-shooting ones, and the Rockets' head-scratching performances hosting poor opponents.

NBA: Sweet Spots Of The Week, March 26-30Tuesday, March 27: Pacers vs. Warriors

The Pacers, sitting fifth in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a 42-31 SU record, are better than average at defense, surrendering 108.1 points per 100 possessions (12th in efficiency). The unit is best at generating and cherishing possessions, as is evident by its fourth-best 1.48 opponent assist-to-turnover ratio. It will be a boon against the Stephen Curry-less Warriors, who top the NBA with a 1.91 rate. The sharpshooter is out at least three weeks with a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his knee.

The angle here for your NBA picks is to lean "under" the total on the NBA odds board. Indiana has a knack for stuffing hot-shooting teams, especially late in the season. When facing off against an opponent draining better than the NBA-average 46.1 percent from the field over its last 10 games, the bet has come up short of the total in 17 of 24 contests. The margins are even more impressive. A 207.5 final score is coming up 5.2 points shy of a 212.7 line. Since January 1 the wager is 12-3 overall, with the Pacers yielding just 100.5 points per game. Golden State is shooting 47.8 percent in their last 10 at the start of the week. Curry missed six of those games with a sore ankle and logged 25 minutes or less in three of his four appearances.

Wednesday, March 28: Nets vs. Magic

The Nets are the third-most bet-friendly team in the NBA, going 42-29-2 ATS (59.2 percent) headed into the week. The team is consistent on offense, but weak in the shot-stopping department. Brooklyn ranks 25th in efficiency, yielding 110.5 points per game. A a result, backing the Nets is most profitable when catching a cold-shooting team.

Squaring off against an opponent sinking less than the NBA-average 46.1 percent from the floor over its last 10 contests, Brooklyn is 20-7-2 ATS. It is covering a 3.5 average line by 3.7 points per game. Sporting a 15-14 straight-up record, well more than half of the Nets' 23 wins on the season occur under these conditions. This is the situation when they head to Orlando on Wednesday night. The Magic, with no scheduled contests in-between, are shooting 42.1 percent over their past 10 contests. Brooklyn and the points is good value.

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Friday, March 30: Suns vs. Rockets

Regular readers have cashed on this angle several times over the last couple of weeks, so let’s keep dipping in until the well dries up. Let us preface the situation with this factoid: The Rockets have lost twice all season with their big three of James Harden, Chris Paul, and Chris Capela starting. That’s 39 victories in 41 games.

Whether Houston pulls its foot off the gas, or home-court advantage inflates the line, the team completely lays down at home against poor opponents. It is 1-15 ATS at home versus foes with a negative point differential for the year. The Rockets fail to cover a -12.0 line by 6.6 points per game. The lone cover came in their first home game of the season, against the Timberwolves. The Harden-Paul-Capela trio has started in half (eight games). The Bulls (-6.7 average scoring margin) trigger this scenario Tuesday in a visit to Houston, and the Suns (-9.9) Friday. Take the points in each.

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