As the Toronto Raptors and the Pacers battle the NBA odds tonight, this handicapper is laying the juice on the home team's point spread. Find out why Indiana has the edge today.
Toronto Raptors vs. Indiana Pacers (-5) 7:05 ET
Toronto travels to Indiana for this 7:05 ET tip between a pair of Eastern Conference playoff hopefuls. Toronto currently holds down 3rd place in the Eastern Conference race with a 39-27 SU record. But, a recent losing streak has allowed both Chicago and Washington to move within 1 game of the Raptors in the loss column for their position. Indiana has been one of the hotter teams in the East of late with their positive record moving them to 30-35 SU, good for 7th place in the Eastern Conference race, but the Pacer are underdogs in NBA odds today. But, Charlotte, Miami and Boston are all within one game in the loss column of Indiana. When we detail the recent records, you will see why Indiana is our clear momentum choice in this contest, despite the fact that Toronto won the two previous meets between these teams by nearly identical scores of 106-94 at home and 104-91 on this floor. That, however, was against a much different Indiana team. But since their last meeting on February 1st, Toronto has gone 6-12 SU, while Indiana has gone 13-3 SU.
Toronto lost to Portland (113-97) on Sunday to drop them to 2-10 SU, 3-9 ATS of late. Look no further than a defensive demise for the reason that Toronto has struggled. The Raptors have allowed 108 PPG in their previous 9 contests. Toronto is quickly learning that their offensive first mind-set, which allows them to average a conference best (104 PPG) is not going to get it done, especially in playoff time.
Keep in mind when forming your NBA picks that while Toronto has been struggling, Indiana has performed at the opposite end of the spectrum. They enter on a streak of 12-3 SU, 11-4 ATS. That included 7 consecutive victories before they lost (93-89) on this floor to Boston on Saturday. That also ended a streak of 7 consecutive home victories. Nonetheless, they enter tonight on a 9-2 ATS run on this floor. Combined with a 109-103 OT win at home against Milwaukee on Thursday, March 12th, there may be cause for concern. For, the Pacers committed a combined 37 TOs in going 0-2 ATS. It was their worst 2 TO performances in the previous 20 games. Credit much of the upturn to the reinstatement of PG Hill to the lineup, along with the positive news that their best player, Paul George, would return to the lineup before the end of the season. Unlike Toronto, it is a solid defense that has keyed the improvement. That includes allowing just 88 PPG the last 8 games on this floor. Overall, the Pacers allow just 96 PPG for the season, the best mark in the East.
Combination of a far superior defense, a double-revenge motive and the current form of these teams, all indicate that Indiana is far more likely to bounce back from this weekend’s loss than is Toronto.
NBA Picks: Take Indiana Pacers -5 at Pinnacle