Indiana-Los Angeles Clippers
With the best home record in the NBA, the Indiana Pacers remain atop the Eastern Conference standings, and are the 5.00 second favourites to claim the title behind the Miami Heat.
The Pacers go for a ninth straight victory at Bankers Fieldhouse on Saturday when they host the Los Angeles Clippers and try to improve on a 31-7 record to date.
Although Indiana puts up an average of 99.1 points per game on their own floor (just 20th overall), they give up 83.3, almost seven points less than anyone else in the league. That bodes poorly for the Clippers, who score 100.8 on their travels but notch an NBA-high 110.9 at Staples Center.
However, LA lost 105-100 when the Pacers headed west last month with Paul George coming up big with 27 points. And whilst they are on a five-game winning streak, it’s been on a relatively soft schedule.
Indiana is 1.20 for the win yet the Clippers at +8.5 on the handicap is a generous offer. The total points line of 197.5 looks high if George can shut down Blake Griffin who was held to 16 points and 12 rebounds in the December meeting.
The Portland Trail Blazers keep proving the sceptics wrong and their 109-100 victory in San Antonio earlier this week was further evidence that they’re not to be discounted.
The Blazers, who are 1.80 to win on their travels at the Dallas Mavericks tonight, are 8.00 to claim the title, still probably a reach given their lack of playoff experience, but they continue to head the NBA with 109.1 points per game.
With Dallas notching 112 over their last five, expect a shootout.
Best bet: Go under the total points line of 197.5 in Indiana-LA Clippers at 1.90