The Pacers are slowly but surely digging themselves out of the 0-3 hole they found themselves early this season. Indiana has won four of its last five, both straight up and against the spread, and is solid betting favorite as it hosts a banged-up Pistons team on Friday night.
Pistons at Pacers (-7.5, 211.5)
You could form a solid starting lineup of guys missing this game: Reggie Jackson, Derrick Rose, Victor Oldadipo, Blake Griffin and Myles Turner.
But the Pacers (4-4 SU and ATS) have more depth than the Pistons and are starting to hit their stride. While three of their four victories have come against the unimpressive Cavaliers, Bulls and Wizards, Indiana will take it considering the state of its injury report.
The T.J. Warren offseason acquisition is proving to be huge. Warren is averaging 26.7 points per game over his last three outings on 69 percent shooting. We’ll see how he fits into the Pacers once Turner and Oladipo come back, but having a professional bucket-getter like Warren is valuable for shorthanded November nights against teams like the Pistons. There are limitations to his game that may be exposed in the playoffs, but the guy can carry an offense for stretches and help you bank wins. Meanwhile, Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis continue to play up to the hefty contracts they received this offseason.
On the other side, the Pistons are missing three key players but are holding their own, coming into the game 4-5 straight up and against-the-spread.
Andre Drummond has been a beast. He’s averaging 21.9 points and 18.6 (!) rebounds per game, while Luke Kennard is having a breakout third season, averaging 16.8 a night. Dwane Casey is one of the better coaches in the league, and it’s showing.
Notable Pacers vs. Pistons trends (playoffs included):
–The Pacers are 3-1 SU and ATS at home this season
–Detroit is 5-14 ATS in its last 19 games
–Detroit is 1-5 ATS in its last six road games
–Detroit is 4-16 SU in its last 20 road games at Indiana
–The total has gone UNDER in five of Indiana’s last six games against an opponent in the Central division
–The total has gone UNDER in four of Indiana’s last six November games
Two key games to watch:
Bucks (-3, 217.5) at Jazz
Both of these teams are title contenders and have a combined five losses on the year. Most of the public action is on Milwaukee, but the Jazz have won their last 17 home games against the Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the clear favorite to win a second MVP Award.
Heat at Lakers (-8, 215.5)
The Heat are fresh off a huge win over the Suns on Thursday night, but the second game of a back-to-back is never easy – especially against LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers. Public bettors like Los Angeles, but both of these teams are hot bets – the Heat are 6-1-1 ATS on the season, while the Lakers are 5-2 at the window. Hopefully this game is as entertaining as last Friday night’s showdown between the Lakers and Mavericks.
Rest of Friday’s NBA betting lines:
Cavaliers at Wizards (-5, 232)
Grizzlies at Magic (-6.5, 208)
Kings (-2, 219.5) at Hawks
Warriors at Timberwolves (-11, 230)
Raptors (-2.5, 234.5) at Pelicans
Knicks at Mavericks (-11, 215)
76ers at Nuggets (-5.5, 210)
Nets at Trail Blazers (-3, 233.5)
Three picks of the night (ATS): Heat, Jazz, Hawks
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