After losing their grasp on the NBA’s best record, the Indiana Pacers will hope Paul George can rediscover his mojo on Monday when they host the lowly Orlando Magic.
The Eastern Conference pacesetters have lost two of their last four, including a rare home defeat to Phoenix that dropped them to a still impressive 22-2 on their own floor.
And George has been in a mini-funk, putting up just 16 points per game over that stretch, well adrift of his seasonal mark of 22.9.
A repeat of his prior showing against Orlando would help – the All Star had 24 points in a 97-87 victory over the Magic on opening night - as would a touch of the defence with which opponents have been ground down.
The Pacers give up just 85.0 points per game at home, presenting a nightmare for their guests who put up a league-low 92.2 on the road.
Indiana are -15.5 on the handicap at 1.90 but even though this looks a no-contest, a note of caution.
Not since January 15, and a rout of the Knicks, have the Pacers won by that much. And current form hints that going under the total points line of 185.5, available at 2.55, might be great value.
The Dallas Mavericks remain one of those sleeper sides who no-one will want to draw in the first round of the playoffs but consistency is not their friend.
The Mavs are 5-5 over their last 10 games but they get the boost of a visit from the slumping Cleveland Cavaliers.
Dallas – who are 1.17 for the win - leads the season series 1-0 and they’ll face a Cavs team which has dropped four straight and has apparent chemistry issues. Cleveland also hasn’t scored more than 93 in their last six, which is why they’re a mammoth +9.5 on the handicap.
Best bet: Go under the total points line of 185.5 in Indiana-Orlando, available at 2.55