While a majority of you will be focusing on the NFL football action today, there's still value to be exploited in the NBA slate. Let's get to it.
Indiana Pacers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Another can't-miss game awaits us on Sunday, this time featuring Kevin Durant and the Thunder and Paul George and the Pacers.
Oklahoma City comes in at 14-4 SU and 9-9 ATS, while Indiana is 18-2 SU and 15-5 ATS. The Thunder are 9-0 SU and 5-4 ATS at home and the Pacers are 9-2 SU and ATS on the road.
George and company showcased that road dominance with a highly impressive 111-100 win over San Antonio last night. The final score wasn't even indicative of how much the Pacers dominated – they were leading by as many as 26 points at one juncture.
George had 28 points, six assists and four rebounds and David West (9-of-12 FG) finished with 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks in one his better all-around performances of the season.
As for the Thunder, they've had a day of rest after beating New Orleans 109-95 on the road, a game in which they were favored by 5.5 points. Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 54 points and Serge Ibaka had a big double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds (and three blocks).
Oklahoma City won both meetings straight up and against the spread last season, but this year's version of Indiana has been playing at a different kind of level. Defensively, the Pacers have been the league's best, and it hasn't even been close.
What it comes down to is Indiana is a great value play here as underdogs. They should rise up for this occasion and cover for our free NBA picks.
NBA Pick: Indiana Pacers +4.5
Toronto Raptors vs. Los Angeles Lakers
The Raptors have been in a major rut, having lost five straight games, including home losses to Brooklyn, Miami and Denver and road defeats at Golden State and Phoenix. They didn't cover in any of the losses.
Let's see how they do tonight at Staples Center in spite of Kobe Bryant's long-awaited return.
The Lakers have actually done well in Kobe's absence, going 10-9 SU and 12-6-1 ATS so far this season. Who knows what kind of effect his return will have – will L.A. rise to an even better level or will the Black Mamba dominate the touches as usual and disrupt the flow?
Coming into tonight, the Lakers have gone 6-2 SU (7-1 ATS) over their previous eight matchups. They've won three of their last four home games, the highlight being a 102-95 victory over Golden State.
However, we do think there's value on the Raptors here. They're not performing in line with their talent level – Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are all very good players – but it just hasn't come together yet.
Still, Toronto does seem to elevate their play whenever they play Los Angeles. They covered in both head-to-head meetings last season and almost won straight up here at the Staples Center in their most recent visit.
Emotions will be running high with the return of Kobe and we think the NBA betting odds are inflated as a result. Let's not get sucked in by the spectacle and instead look for the value – take Toronto to snap out of it and cash as dogs.
NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors +5.5