Indiana Pacers vs. Golden State Warriors Pick
Indiana Pacers (44-28, 35-36-1 ATS) vs. Golden State Warriors (48-22, 29-40-1 ATS)
When: Thursday, March 21st, 2019 – 10:30 pm ET
Where: ORACLE Arena – Oakland, CA
TV: Local TV Only
By: Kyle Cash, NBA Basketball Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: IND +11/GSW -11
Last Night in the NBA
Whoops. Oklahoma City came storming back from an 11-point deficit with 3 minutes to play and gave us a glimmer of hope – only to blow it with one of the worst overtime periods you’ll ever see. The only solace I can provide you is that for the entire fourth quarter and overtime, I had forgotten that I had changed my mind and taken the Thunder, so I celebrated the victory for Toronto. Like I said – whoops.
Elsewhere in the NBA, Dallas continued their stealth tank campaign, Harden went supernova only to be met with a big fat L. Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers put money in Keith’s pocket and put the Celtics and the rest of the league officially on notice. Here. They. Come.
Only the true NBA degenerates will be tuning in to this game tonight, but sometimes the best game to bet on is the game you don’t watch one second of. It’s like performing a magic trick with your wallet – either making money appear or disappear with a wave of your hands. As the Warriors round into form, the Pacers continue to sputter and are an 11-point underdog tonight with the total set to a measly 220.5 points. It’s day one of the NCAA tournament, and yet here you are – bracing for some NBA action. I’m so proud of you. And worried about your well-being – are you okay?
Keeping The Pace
As I discussed before their game against Portland, the clock has all but struck midnight on Indiana’s Cinderella story. They still have a modicum of a chance at holding onto home court advantage in the first round, but to what end? Boston would have advantages in star power, firepower, and coaching power, and the most likely scenario is a first round exit – regardless of venue. I’m sorry, Indiana. At least you have the Hoosi- wait, they did? But they had a five-star recruit! Oh boy, Indy. Not good.
And neither are their chances at stealing a W tonight. Indiana is what we in the business call “completely and utterly overmatched.” They’ve dropped 3 in a row in their road gauntlet, and the schedule isn’t getting any easier from here: Denver, @OKC, @Boston in the upcoming week. Assuming this game plays out as expected, they’ll have some work to do to hold onto that 4-seed.
Tough, but not impossible. We could always see a breakout Sabonis game or a throwback Thad Young classic or a Bojan flamethrower exhibition, but the talent disparity is probably too large. However, Indiana plays excellent defense (2nd in the NBA), and they play slow as hell. With less possessions comes less points, and thus an 11-point spread becomes much more daunting. Indiana can muck this game up as dirty as they want, and if they try to turn it into a 1960s brawl, they may be able to stay within the number.
The Dog Days of Spring
We’re coming down to the wire here in the NBA, and it’s usually around this time that the Warriors ease up on the accelerator and pull back a bit. But with a rash of injuries and overall poor play combined with Denver’s emergence, the champs have no choice but to continue moving forward. Home-court advantage isn’t the end all be all for a team as talented as they are, but it’s the little things that can hurt you in a 7-game series. Luckily for the Warriors, however, I think the entire basketball world would be pretty shocked if they met Denver and not OKC or Houston the Conference Finals. So, maybe no harm no foul.
Even still, another 1-seed is a prideful achievement, and it’s hard to imagine Steph or KD or Klay mailing in the rest of the regular season. Coach Kerr did, however, mention some upcoming rest days, so be sure to take a peak at the final injury report before submitting your bet ticket. Remember – we live in a world where “load management” is now an acceptable injury designation.
We like the Dubs to win this for sure, but can they cover the number? With a full, healthy roster, they should have no issues on paper. They are still a historically great offense (1st in the NBA) and have somewhere between 2 and 5 future Hall of Famers – they could roll over Indy in their sleep. But will they be properly motivated? We’ve seen the apathetic Warriors before, and it’s not a pretty sight. If Golden State isn’t fully engaged, not only could they fail to cover the number, but Indiana could come out of the shadows and assassinate them out of nowhere. Buyer beware with GSW.
Ultimately, tonight’s game comes down to one thing, and one thing alone: how big of a degenerate are you? The entire sports world will have their bellies stuffed to the gills with a 12-hour buffet of intense college hoops, and yet here you stand, fully ready to bet on the Warriors-Pacers games. If you want my honest opinion, I think that if you are looking to bet this game, you are either a sharp who doesn’t need my advice or someone who is so far in the hole that you should be staying far, far away. But if you absolutely have to wager on it, I would advise you to lay the points and forget about it. Or, if you’re feeling frisky, parlay some of the high ML NCAA action with the GSW ML on this and see if you can coax your vig down to something more palatable. The world is your oyster.
Final Score Prediction: Golden State 126 – Indiana 104