Indiana Pacers 1.28, Atlanta Hawks 3.80 (Hawks lead series 1-0)
The Indiana Pacers have won 56 games this season. If they don’t make it 57 on Tuesday, it’s officially time to call it a crisis.
Down 1-0 in their first round NBA Playoff series with the Atlanta Hawks, the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference during the regular season look a lost soul, wondering where the life went from its collective game.
The Pacers are just 12-14 over their last 26 games. Roy Hibbert is notching only 6.8 points over his last ten. Within two months, their defence has gone from conceding 90 points per game to almost 97. And, most damaging of all, their aura has been dismantled.
It was a factor obvious in the Hawks’ 101-93 victory in Game 1. And with Atlanta, who are 3.95 to make it 2-0 and 81.00 to win the East, taking full advantage of Indiana’s foul trouble and general malaise, the Pacers need to find an instant response.
Worryingly for head coach Frank Vogel, he’s been looking for that turnaround for some time and come up short. With the subsequent two instalments in Atlanta, where his team went 0-2 this season, it might be worth a punt on the Hawks to eventually advance – with 4-3 available at a tempting 8.00.
While Indiana are 1.26 to bounce back, with their offense spluttering, go under 182.5 total points at 2.40 or jump on the visitors to cover a handicap of +5.5 at 2.25.
Toronto Raptors 1.50, Brooklyn Nets 2.60 (Nets lead series 1-0)
Monday also brings the second instalment of two other East series that saw the higher seed give up home advantage in Game 1.
Toronto Raptors GM Masai Uriji picked up a heavy fine for some x-rated cheerleading ahead of the 94-87 loss to the Brooklyn Nets but his players will need to be on the money and do a better job of controlling Paul Pierce who scored 9 of his 15 in the fourth.
While the Raptors are -4.5 on the handicap at 1.90, look at Brooklyn for the third quarter advantage at 2.25 ahead of what should be another tight squeeze.
Chicago Bulls 1.45, Washington Wizards 2.75 (Wizards lead series 1-0)
The Chicago Bulls are smarting from squandering a 13-point cushion in their 102-93 Game 1 loss to the Washington Wizards but although they’ll likely up the ante defensively, with a little extra scoring from John Wall, go over 186.5 total points at 2.45.
Best bet: Go under 182.5 total points in Indiana – Atlanta at 2.40