Pacers Look to Spoil the Raptors' Clinching Opportunity

pacers raptors

Troy Haliburton

Friday, April 6, 2018 2:51 PM GMT

Friday, Apr. 6, 2018 2:51 PM GMT

Indiana is looking to build momentum heading into the playoffs, while still fighting for potential home-court advantage in the first round. The Raptors are looking to clinch home court throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.
 

Indiana Pacers (46-33 ATS) at Toronto Raptors (41-37 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Pacers +7.5Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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The clinching number for the Toronto Raptors is down to one, meaning that if they get one more win or a Celtics loss they will clinch home-court advantage for the Eastern Conference playoffs. The importance of the Raptors having home court will be key to them potentially making it out of the East and to the NBA Finals for the first time.

Toronto has the second-best home record in the NBA at 32-7, just behind the Houston Rockets (34-6). One of the reasons that Toronto has been so successful this season is the fact that they made a conscious effort this offseason to change their style of play. The intent was on making sure the Raptors were playing a style that would fit in better in the pace-and-space era. Toronto is taking and making more threes, but more important are running a more free-flowing offensive set that causes fewer isolation plays from DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.

From a gambling perspective, the Raptors have been a bettors' best friend this season as they have gone 41-37 ATS for a 58 percent win rate. Toronto’s success as a favored team has led them to the fifth-best record against the spread this season. Recently, the Raptors have struggled covering spreads at home and have had their home ATS mark fall to 20-19. The Pacers are 22-17 ATS on the road, which is good for a win rate of 56.4%.

Indiana has been able to surprise a lot of teams with their high-end talent of Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner, but also with good quality depth in the likes of Darren Collison and Bojan Bogdanovic. Collison and Bogey are prolific 3-point shooters, hitting 46 and 40 percent from beyond the arc, respectively. Their quality shooting creates the space that Oladipo and Turner need to operate going downhill in the halfcourt.

Another contributing factor to the Pacers' success has to be the contributions made by the enigmatic Lance Stephenson, who comes off the bench and sparks energy with his passionate play. Stephenson is averaging double figures in the last 10 games and his spirited play has led to more Indiana victories. The even more telling stat is the fact that Lance averages 11 points and six rebounds on the road while only scoring seven points and four rebounds at home.

The Pacers should be able to cover as they continue their positive momentum heading into the playoffs.

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