The Indiana Pacers haven’t lost at home since early December and they’ll figure on keeping their run alive on Friday when Toronto come to the Fieldhouse. With five wins in a row, and the leadership of the Central Division in their possession, the Pacers are shaping up to challenge Miami and New York for overall supremacy in the Eastern Conference.
Indiana are still a 45.00 long shot to win the title, but it might be time to take them seriously for the East while they’re priced at a generous 23.00. Danny Grainger is expected to return within the month and, based on last season, he should slot right in and give his side the extra offensive punch they need. But the Pacers have showed of late that there is more to them than just the tough defence that strangled Philadelphia to just 69 points on Wednesday. Their defeat of Miami last week underlined that they are a genuine threat.
They should have far too much for the Raptors, who have lost two straight and won only five times on the road all season. Although Andrea Bargnani will give provide a short-term boost while Toronto try to trade the Italian, Indiana should prevail on the handicap of -7.5.
The Los Angeles Clippers desperately need to break out of their current slump. Help might be on the way, with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Chauncey Billups in line to return for their trip to Miami. The Clips have won just three of their last seven with Paul’s absence a key factor. They’ll surely need all three to threaten the Heat who are 8-2 over their last ten games and 20-3 at home. But even though Miami are capable of slipping against poor opponents, they should step up to make their mark.
The Houston Rockets' midweek blitz of the Golden State Warriors helped them equal the NBA record of 23 three-pointers in a single game. The percentage of three pointers made hasn’t really changed a great deal over the past decade or so, with Indiana’s league-high 39% in 2000 equalling Golden State’s current mark this term. But if you’re sensing history is in the making, there are odds of 15.00 available on a team reaching the magic mark of 24 this season.
Bet of the day: Take Miami over the LA Clippers on the handicap at 1.91