NBA Betting Picks: Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks

Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks
Sunday, April 14, 2013, 3:35 pm Eastern, TV: FSN-Indiana, MSG, NBA-LP
Madison Square Garden – New York City, New York
Opening Line: New York -4
Current Line: New York -4
Opening Total: 192
Current Total: 193
Opening Money Line: Knicks -175 / Pacers +155
Current Money Line: Knicks -175 / Pacers +155

The Knicks are a 4 point favorite at home against the Pacers in a key Eastern Conference match-up.
The Knicks are a 4 point favorite at home against the Pacers in a key Eastern Conference match-up.

With only a handful of games left in the regular season, the Western Conference is a jumbled mess with none of the 8 playoff seeds locked in. The East, on the other hand, is pretty much settled. The only thing left to be decided is whether the Atlanta Hawks or Chicago Bulls will be the #5 seed.

The 52-27 New York Knicks have basically wrapped up the #2 seed in the East as they have a three game lead over the 49-30 Indiana Pacers with 3 to play. The Knicks can clinch the #2 seed Sunday with a win as they host  the Pacers Sunday afternoon. However, if the Knicks lose out and the Pacers win out, then Indiana would be the #2 seed because they would win the season series 3-1. The Knicks have clinched the Atlantic Division and will most likely play the #7 Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. The Pacers have clinched the Central Division title and have a two game lead over the Brooklyn Nets for the #3 seed. Indiana will either play Atlanta or Chicago in the first round.

New York won at the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night 101-91, a night after the Knicks lost in Chicago to snap a 13 game winning streak. Indiana lost at home 117-109 to Brooklyn Friday night. Indiana leads the series against New York 2-1 this season with each team winning at home. The Knicks won 88-76 at MSG November 18, and the Pacers won in Indianapolis 81-76 January 10 and 125-91 February 20. New York and Indiana could meet in the Eastern Conference semifinals barring upsets in the first round.

Indiana is coached by Frank Vogel. The Pacers are outscoring teams 95-91 this season. Indiana is second in the league in points allowed and #21 in scoring. The Pacers are shooting 43.6% from the field and 35% from 3 point range. Indiana is 21st or worse in both categories. The Pacers make 75% of their free throws. Indiana leads the league in rebounding at 45.9 per game, and are #8 in rebounds allowed at 41. Indiana opponents are shooting 41.9% from the field and 32.5% from 3 point range. The Pacers lead the league in both categories. Indiana averages 20.4 assists, 7.2 steals, 6.4 blocks, and 14.4 turnovers. The Pacers are 42-37 ATS and the total is 37-41-1 this season.

Small forward Paul George averages 17.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Power forward David West averages 17.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block a game. Point guard George Hill averages 14.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.1 steals a game. Center Roy Hibbert averages 12 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. Shooting guard Lance Stephenson averages 8.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1 steal a game. Tyler Hansbrough, Gerald Green, Ian Mahinmi, and D.J. Augustin make up the rest of the rotation. Indiana has had success despite All-Star forward Danny Granger missing all but 5 games with a knee injury.

New York is coached by Mike Woodson. The Knicks are 44-33-2 ATS and the total is also 38-39-2 this season. New York is outscoring teams 100-96 this season. The Knicks are #11 or better in both categories. New York is shooting 44.9% from the field and 37.6% from 3 point range. The Knicks are #5 in three point shooting. New York makes 75.8% of their free throws. The Knicks average 40.7 rebounds per game and give up 41.5 per game. Knicks’ opponents are shooting 45.8% from the field and 36.1% from 3 point range. New York is #27 in 3 point defense. New York averages 19.2 assists, 8.2 steals, 3.7 steals, and 11.6 turnovers per game.

Forward Carmelo Anthony averages 28.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. He leads the league in scoring. Guard J.R. Smith averages 18.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Raymond Felton averages 14 points, 2.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Forward Amar’e Stoudemire averages 14.2 points, and 5 rebounds per game. He is out until at least Early may with a knee injury. Center Tyson Chandler is averaging 10.4 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. He is doubtful with a neck injury.  Steve Novak, Jason Kidd, Chris Copeland, Iman Shumpert, Pablo Prigioni, Kenyon Martin, and Marcus Camby make up the rest of the rotation. Camby is doubtful with a foot injury. Martin is also doubtful with an ankle injury. Rasheed Wallace is out until early May with a broken foot.

Indiana is 10-4 ATS after allowing 100 points or more, 13-6 after scoring 100 points or more, 3-8 against Atlantic Division teams, 1-4 after a straight up loss, and when the opponent scored more than 100 points, 2-8 against teams with winning records, 0-7 in Sunday games, 0-5 against Eastern Conference teams, and 0-4 overall. The underdog is 12-5 ATS in this series recently.  The pacers are 8-3 ATS in the last 11 games in New York.

New York is 8-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 6-1 against teams with losing road records, 5-1 when the opponent scored 100 points or more, and on one day rest, 13-3 after a straight up win, and against Eastern Conference teams, 4-1 against Central teams, and when the opponent allowed 100 points or more, 17-5 after a cover, 16-5 after scoring 100 points or more, 19-7 overall, 44-21 at home. The Knicks are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 against the Pacers.

These two teams have had a longstanding rivalry dating back to Spike Lee and Reggie Miller in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The Pacers must rely on their defense and rebounding, but without Stoudemire, Camby, Chandler, Martin, and Wallace the rebounding edge is even more pronounced. The Knicks want to win this game because they rest in the next two games before the playoffs. They also want to win to even the season series, as there is a very good chance these two teams will meet again in the second round. I like the Knicks at home in an ugly rock fight of a game.

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