Points Harder Than They Seem in Heat-Cavs and Grizzlies-Pacers, so Go 'Under'

heat cavaliers

Charles Stark

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 1:55 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018 1:55 PM UTC

Don't expect a ton of scoring in two games we're going to look at for your NBA picks. Miami visits Cleveland in what should be the night's best game, and Indiana hosts Memphis. In both cases, the total seems a little too high.

Wednesday NBA: Heat vs. CavaliersFree NBA Pick: Under 213Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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The total for this game on the NBA odds board came out at a big 213, which honestly doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. For my NBA pick I will back "under" the total and look for a lower-scoring affair than most people probably anticipate. In their earlier matchup this season Cleveland took care of business at home, winning 108-97. Although oddsmakers have set this total higher at 213, I won’t overanalyze this game and think it is going to be an up-and-down affair. Cleveland ranks in the bottom five in the league in most defensive categories. However, they still are not pushing a lot of pace, averaging just 83.6 attempts per game, which ranks 26th. Miami has controlled pace on both sides the ball, averaging 82.5 attempts per game and allowing 82.3, ranking 28th and sixth, respectively. As well, Miami has been tremendous on the defensive end, allowing just 37.1 field goals made per game from their opponents. Look for a similar final for the total that we saw in their first matchup.

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Wednesday NBA: Grizzlies vs. PacersFree NBA Pick: Under 205Best line Offered: Bookmaker

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In their first matchup this season, Indiana and Memphis played to a really high 116-113 final, going over the 203.5 set on the NBA odds board. In this matchup oddsmakers have not blinked on that number so much, setting it at 205, but for my NBA pick I will take "under" the total. I have a hard time believing this will be a fast-paced affair, with Memphis getting up just 81.2 attempts per game and allowing 79.8, ranking second and first in the NBA, respectively. Although Indiana has been an offensive-first team, their defensive statistics are not horrible and they are really good at defending from beyond the arc, with opponents shooting 35 percent from distance. The Pacers have shown the propensity to push some pace, but the way they match up with Memphis will have this game bogged down, with neither team putting up many points. Recently, Indiana has had their share of playing fast-tempo teams, but this will be a completely different dynamic. In their most recent game versus a slow-tempo team, San Antonio, they ended with a 94-86 final. Look for a similar type of total in this game.

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