Pacers laying double digits vs. scuffling Hawks, plus full NBA Friday betting preview

Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon
Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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The Indiana Pacers are fresh off their best win of the season, a 121-102 beatdown of the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. The Pacers are back in action on Friday as 10.5-point home favorites over the Atlanta Hawks.

Here’s your NBA Friday betting preview.

Hawks at Pacers (-10.5, 224)

The Pacers are 8-2 in their last 10 games (6-3-1 ATS) and have been outstanding offensively. Indiana has scored at least 111 points in its last four outings, including a 126-point outburst against the Grizzlies and a 121-point performance against the Jazz, who are ninth in the NBA in defensive rating.

T.J. Warren has proven to be one of the most underrated pick-ups of the offseason. The small forward is averaging 17.4 points per game on 49.8% shooting, and Indiana essentially acquired him for free. Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis are having All-Star caliber seasons, and Myles Turner has adapted to a complementary role since returning from an ankle injury. The Pacers are scoring 112.2 points per 100 possessions since Nov. 5, which ranks sixth in the league.

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The Hawks, meanwhile, have been a disappointment after playing well down the stretch last season. Atlanta’s rookie wing combo of Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter has struggled, and John Collins is out. Jabari Parker is having a bounce-back season from a raw numbers standpoint, but it’s probably not a coincidence that Parker is logging heavy minutes and the Hawks have the No. 29 defense in the NBA. Only the Wizards are worse on that end, and Atlanta hasn’t won a game since Nov. 12. It is 2-14 in its last 16 games.

The Pacers should roll here – it’s just by a matter of how much. Bettors are split on this game, as the Hawks, despite their ugly straight-up record (4-14), are a respectable 8-10 against the spread.

Here are some betting trends to consider:

— Atlanta’s 111-102 loss to Milwaukee last time out snapped a 10-game OVER streak for the Hawks.
— Atlanta is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games against Indiana.
— Indiana is 8-1 straight up in its last nine home games.
— The total has gone OVER in seven of Indiana’s last eight games against a Southeast division opponent.

Bulls at Trail Blazers (-7.5, 225)

Jim Boylen’s tenure as Bulls head coach has been brutal, to say the least, but Wednesday may have been the low point. Chicago lost by 14 to the Warriors, who are without Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and D’Angelo Russell and have the worst record in the NBA.

This is the second time in five days the Bulls face the Blazers; Portland (-1) won by 23 in Chicago on Monday behind 25 points from Carmelo Anthony. The Blazers have won two straight after dropping four in a row.

A nugget to give you a glimmer of optimism if you’re a Bulls bettor: Chicago has been decent coming off of losses this season. The Bulls have yet to win back-to-back games this season (yikes), but they are 6-7 SU the game after a loss.

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We said Lauri Markkanen would be the key in the Bulls and Blazers’ Monday matchup. He scored just 10 points and is averaging 7.5 points per game in his last four outings on 26.3% shooting. Boylen gets plenty of blame, and it’s justified. But Markkanen was thought to have an outside chance of being an All-Star this season; he’s borderline unplayable right now. Markkanen needs to have a strong game in order for the Bulls to cover this number, which opened at 7 and rose a half to a full point as of Friday morning.

Bulls vs. Trail Blazers trends

— Chicago is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games.
— Chicago is 2-9 SU in its last 11 games at Portland.
— Portland is 11-3-1 ATS in its last 15 games against Central division opponents.

Friday NBA betting lines

Here’s the rest of the Friday NBA card, featuring a bunch of road favorites:

Celtics (-4.5, 215) at Nets
Raptors (-3.5, 207.5) at Magic
Hornets at Pistons (-7.5, 213.5)
76ers (-7, 208) at Knicks
Bucks (-10.5, 228) at Cavaliers
Warriors at Heat (-11.5, 212)
Pelicans at Thunder (-4, 228.5)
Jazz (-7, 219.5) at Grizzlies
Clippers (-6, 225.5) at Spurs
Mavericks (-2, 232.5) at Suns
Wizards at Lakers (-11.5, 235)