NBA Eastern Conference Odds: Indiana Pacers at Philadelphia 76ers

Paul George-pacers-2013-2Indiana at Philadelphia
Time: 7 PM ET, Mar 14, 2014
Spread: IND -16.5
Total: 204

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

The Indiana Pacers are 47-17 and are clinging to a two-game lead over Miami for the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Heat’s opponent, the Philadelphia 76ers, sit on the other end of that spectrum, with a two-game lead over Milwaukee for the worst record in the East. NBA oddsmakers aren’t giving the tanking Sixers much of a chance in this game, setting the NBA odds a healthy 16.5 points in favor of the visiting Pacers.

Philadelphia has lost its past 18 games and is giving up a league-worst 111.1 points per game while scoring under 100 (99.8) itself. The Sixers lost all chances at respectability when it traded second-leading scorer Evan Turner at the trade deadline. Turner is now playing for Indiana and has done relatively well considering his adaptations to a new system. In his stead, it’s left the Sixers to turn to Thaddeus Young and Michael Carter-Williams for nearly all its offense. Carter-Williams is having a good rookie season with 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game, but Philly’s real focus is on finding a franchise star in the 2014 NBA draft.

Indiana continues to get it done with defense. The Pacers have the league’s stingiest defense, allowing just 92 points per game. New additions Evan Turner and big man Andrew Bynum have added even more depth to Frank Vogel’s squad. Paul George has continued to improve and he’s becoming a very well rounded player. George is averaging 22.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game this season.

The Pacers may face losing 2-guard Lance Stephenson this summer, and that would be a blow. Stephenson is averaging 14 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game, and is sure to draw a lot of attention from suitors around the league. Evan Turner may have been acquired with the foreknowledge that it won’t be possible to re-sign Stephenson. Even so, the Pacers have very strong defense in its starting five and Indy should be a real threat to dethrone the Heat as Eastern Conference Champions.

IND Trends: 0-5 ATS in last 5 when opponent allows 100 points or more in previous game; 0-4 ATS in last 4 following SU win; 0-7 ATS in last 7 following ATS loss

PHI Trends: UNDER 5-0-1 in last 6 vs teams with winning percentages above .600; 0-4 ATS in last 4 home games vs teams with winning road records; 0-4 ATS in last 4 vs teams with winning percentages above .600.

Head-to-head: OVER 6-1-1 in last 8 meetings; Pacers 13-5-2 ATS in last 20 meetings in Philadelphia; UNDER 7-3 in last 10 meetings in Philadelphia.

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