NBA  

Pacers Are Not Really Keeping It 'Under' Wraps

Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Apr. 4: 24-26-1 ATS, 0-4 ML (minus-9.35 units), 33-18 Totals

Boston (47-32 SU, 37-41-1 ATS) at Indiana (47-32 SU, 40-39 ATS)

Friday, 8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN

Free NBA Pick: Under

Best Line Offered: BetOnLine

You have to be on your toes when you make your NBA picks. We waited all morning for Friday’s matchup between the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers to hit the odds board, and when it finally did, we had ourselves some value: Boston opened as a pick’em, while the projections at FiveThirtyEight had the Celtics at –2. All good things come to those who wait.

Yeah, that didn’t last long. In a matter of second, the Celtics moved to –1, taking away much of the profit margin we need between the projections and the actual NBA odds. No worries, though – the ‘under’ has legs in this matchup, especially with the Pacers playing at home. To the Fieldhouse!

Go, Go, Go Joseph

We’re not the only ones thinking about the ‘under’ by the looks of it. The total for Friday’s contest is a paltry 213 points, but we’re going to jump on that anyway. The ‘under’ is 25-14 in Indianapolis this year, and to give us a little boost, Darren Collison (plus-1.4 OBPM, plus-0.1 DBPM) has missed the last two games with a tender groin. If he’s out again on Friday, Cory Joseph (minus-2.0 OBPM, plus-1.5 DBPM) will presumably get his third start in a row. Delightful.

We should note that Wes Matthews (minus-0.3 OBPM, minus-0.5 DBPM), with a strained right hamstring, is also considered iffy for the Pacers after missing back-to-back games. That’s not earth-shattering news by any means, but the next man up for Indiana is Tyreke Evans (minus-3.5 OBPM, minus-0.3 DBPM), and he’s having a really bad season – the worst of his career. Whatever was working in Memphis last year is clearly not working in Indianapolis.

The Brown Album

Hey, it’s the Celtics again. They’re not a good ‘under’ team at all, but things aren’t so bad on the road, where the ‘over’ is just 20-19 compared to 24-16 at the Garden. Jaylen Brown (minus-1.6 OBPM, minus-0.6 DBPM) could return for Friday’s game after sitting out with a sore back, while Marcus Morris (minus-0.4 OBPM, minus-1.1 DBPM) is questionable with a sore left knee.

With any luck, Brown will play the Pacers and Morris will sit. This will still give Semi Ojeleye (minus-2.6 OBPM, minus-1.8 DBPM) a chance to rack up some minutes off the bench, although he only played 7:18 of Monday’s 112-102 win over the Miami Heat (–1 at home), which was a shame. At least they snuck ‘under’ the posted total of 214.5 points. Let’s see if they can make it happen again on Friday, and may the sphere be with you.