Hornets vs. Pacers NBA Pick For January 29th

by Kevin Roberts
on January 29, 2018
All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from Bovada at 10:23 am CT on 1/29/2018. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have burned me a lot this year, but on Sunday I gave them a shot to redeem themselves. They were riding a 7-game winning streak and offered value at home against the Sixers, so I bit.

Fortunately, they delivered and I escaped with my 44th win of the year. That win brings me to 44-30-2 on the season and the hope will be to piece together a winning streak so I can notch 50 wins before suffering my 31st loss.

That plight starts tonight on Monday’s six-game NBA betting slate. This is a prime spot for bettors looking for value, as every single game carries a -6.5 spread or better.

That leaves the door wide open to pretty much every option, but my favorite showdown goes down in Indy, where Victor Oladipo and the Pacers will host the Charlotte Hornets.

I love the value associated with the Pacers, as they sport a -3.5 spread as the home favorites and also carry a fine -150 Moneyline at Bovada.

Indy is pretty easy to fall in love with tonight, as they’re finally healthy and tend to play well (16-10) on their home floor. Indy is trending in the right direction now that they’re healthier, too, having won 6 of their last 10 contests.

Charlotte hasn’t been that bad (5-5) during the same stretch and they’re also completely healthy, but all year long they’ve been impossible to get behind on the road. The Hornets are just 20-28 on the year, but they’ve really struggled (6-14) away from home.

So, does that make the Pacers the easiest play on the board, or is there a better angle to target here for bettors? Let’s break this matchup down further to find out:

Charlotte-Hornets (+3.5)
VS
Indiana Pacers (-3.5)
Total: 213

This is a pretty healthy Total, but it’s not a bet I really want to chase just because Charlotte does bring some defensive bite to the table. On top of that, the Hornets really have difficulty on the road, so a potential blowout or general struggles could contribute to a shaky play in this spot.

For me, all roads lead me to the Pacers. Indiana doesn’t have one big man that can stand tall against Dwight Howard, but they do have a collection of bigs that can at least give him some trouble.

That’s certainly the case on the offensive end, as both Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis are capable of scoring inside, while Sabonis can force Howard away from the basket. Either of these guys could get Howard into early foul trouble or cause him to have less of an impact inside the paint.

The main problem is the Pacers don’t have an answer for Howard defensively. If they can keep him quiet or turn him into a black hole on that side of the floor, however, perhaps it can ice out Kemba Walker and others.

Indy does provide a stiff test for Charlotte’s guards, after all. Darren Collison and Victor Oladipo have both been staunch defenders up front this season, while Lance Stephenson provides the team with a stingy bench defender.

I do think the Hornets are capable of the upset or beating this spread. That’s one reason why I’m off the spread completely. However, the Hornets drop down even further when they’re road underdogs (4-12 this year) and I don’t love how they match up this one.

Tonight’s game is surprisingly the first meeting of the year between these two teams. The Pacers won the last meeting in March of 2017, while last season’s series was split (2-2) right down the middle. It should shock nobody that Charlotte won both home games and lost twice on the road.

Logic and trends suggest the same tonight, so I’ll take the value Vegas is attaching to the Pacers and run.

Pick: Indiana Pacers (-150)
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