Warriors vs Pacers – NBA Pick for April 5th
I thought the Boston Celtics offered some interesting value going into their Wednesday night battle with the Toronto Raptors. The Atlantic Division was still up for grabs, after all, and Vegas was spotting them +7.5 points.
Unfortunately, Boston didn’t really show up for this one and my season NBA picks record dropped to 65-53-2.
I was really hinging my pick on Boston fighting for this win, as well as a healthy Terry Rozier taking the court. He did end up playing, but was atrocious (1 for 9 shooting from the floor) and the Celtics just didn’t have it in Toronto.
It’s onward and upward on Thursday, as things quiet down in the NBA betting world with just six games to work with.
Despite the low game count, there is a ton of star power on the docket tonight, with the likes of LeBron James, James Harden, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo all hitting the hardwood.
From a betting perspective this is a very interesting slate, as just one game carries a spread worse than -7.5 to get the ball rolling. That’s none other than a showdown in Houston between the Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers.
I don’t really want to touch that game, though. The Blazers are a tough bet to crack a +10 point spread given that they’re on the road against arguably the best team in the NBA, but the Rockets also have literally nothing to play for.
Instead, I would prefer to focus on games where teams have something on the line or there is some value that really stands out. For me, that is tonight’s showdown in Indy, where the Pacers host the Golden State Warriors.
The last time these two teams locked horns, the Dubs were a shell of themselves and got waxed in a surprising defensive battle. All of their top players were sidelined with injury and Indy took full advantage.
That gave Indiana a 1-0 season series lead and the Warriors will hit the road in an effort to try to even things up. The Dubs really aren’t playing for much and are still without Stephen Curry (knee), but they’ve been fairly vocal about prioritizing rhythm over rest.
Indy does have incentive to play hard and play well. They’ll obviously want to defend their home turf (26-13 there this year), while they still have a chance at catching the Cleveland Cavaliers.
They’re two games back in the Central Division, but if they can simply finish with the same record as the Cavs, they’d take the division title and have a shot at nabbing the 3rd overall seed in the Eastern Conference.
All of that sounds good, but I tend to side with the Dubs here. This spread looks really dicey no matter which way you lean and +117 isn’t really enough to fall in love with Indy as an upset pick.
The wager I love is the Dubs as a straight up pick (-127 at 5Dimes). You’re getting very similar value compared to their ATS price, so with the gap so small I’d rather just back them as the winner.
Golden State is clearly the better team, so the only risk here is the fact that they’re on the road and the Pacers have more to play for. That may be so, but it is worth pointing out that the Dubs have been quite dominant (56-17) as the favorite this year and Indy (17-25) hasn’t done well as the underdog.
Indy’s luck gets worse when Vegas bets against them at home, too (4-10 straight up as home underdogs), while their home record as underdogs ATS (5-9) isn’t any better.
The Pacers are a good team. They’re dynamic offensively and they’ve actually morphed into a pretty balanced defensive unit. They’re not really a match for a healthier version of the defending champs, however.
Even without Chef Curry and much to play for, betting against the Warriors still feels like a bad idea. I love it anytime I can get borderline EVEN money for a team that is this good and feels like a lock. I’ll take that money and run tonight.
$100 stake could win.........