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Our expert handicapper gives his picks for tonight's NBA slate

PICK OF THE DAY, (2u) PACERS +1.5 @ -110

Toronto Raptors @ Indiana Pacers, 8:00 PM:

  • The home team has won 14 of the last 15 matchups between Indiana and Toronto. Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

The reason we're backing the Pacers.

The Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors wrap up a back-to-back home/away series with each other after an already epic outcome.

Trailing 118-110 with 2:10 remaining in the game, the Raptors scored nine unanswered capped off by a Serge Ibaka go-ahead three-pointer with 30 seconds left.

Toronto (37-14) trailed by as many as 19 points on Wednesday, but rallied back behind huge games from Ibaka and Kyle Lowry. Lowry totaled a double-double with a game-high 32 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. Ibaka added 30 points and seven rebounds, and Pascal Siakam contributed 25 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

Indiana (31-20) watched the lead slip away despite Domantas Sabonis totaling a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Justin Holiday and Doug McDermott came off the bench and contributed 22 and 19 points respectively - Holiday hit six-of-nine three-pointers and McDermott knocked down four of his own.

The home team has won both of the first two meetings, yet the away team has covered the five-point spreads in both meetings. With these teams being so tightly contested, I’m sticking with the trend and taking the home underdogs to cover the spread.

(1u) Mavericks -4 @ -110

Dallas Mavericks @ Washington Wizards, 7:30 PM:

  • The Mavericks have a 162 W/L record against the Wizards since 201-11.
  • Dallas has an 83 ATS record against Washington since 2014-15. Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

The reason we're backing the Mavericks.

Dallas (31-20) was shorthanded without Luka Doncic and snapped a two-game winning streak by losing at home to the Memphis Grizzlies 121-107.

Kristaps Porzingis did all he could to keep up with Memphis, posting a double-double with a game-high 32 points and 12 rebounds. Jalen Brunson added 20 points and a team-high six assists.

Washington (17-32) also snapped a two-game winning streak at home by losing to the Golden State Warriors 125-117.

Bradley Beal was the silver lining in a disappointing loss, going off for 43 points on 15-of-30 shooting. Davis Bertans came off the bench and knocked down 5-of-7 threes for 19 points.

The Wizards have struggled to find scoring support outside of Beal, and I’m not sure he’ll be enough to take down Dallas. With Doncic expected to be back on Friday, I have the utmost confidence he’ll be a difference maker enough to get the Mavericks back on track. Take the Mavericks to cover.

(1u) Thunder -12 @ -110

Detroit Pistons @ Oklahoma City Thunder, 8:00 PM:

  • The Thunder have a 134 W/L record against the Pistons since 2010-11.
  • OKC has the best ATS record in the NBA at (3417), and Detroit has the second worst at (19-33-1). Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

The reason we're backing the Thunder.

The Pistons made a splash prior to Thursday's trade deadline, but not in a way that will necessarily help the team in the near future. Detroit traded away the NBA’s rebound leader Andre Drummond to Cleveland for John Henson, Brandon Knight and a 2023 second-round pick.

Last time out, the Pistons (19-34) got back on track outlasting the Phoenix Suns 116-108. Drummond totaled a monster double-double with 31 points and 19 rebounds. Reggie Jackson was next in line amongst the starters, scoring 25 points with nine assists, and Christian Wood added 21 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

Oklahoma City (31-20) picked up a third straight win after taking down the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-103.

Dennis Schroder came off the bench and went off for a game-high 30 points and six assists on 10-of-17 shooting. Shawi Gilgeous-Alexander added a double-double, leading the starters with 23 points and 10 rebounds.

I’m anticipating Detroit will be out of sorts without their leading rebounder and second leading scorer in Drummond. Not only that, the Pistons have struggled on the road all season with an 8-17 away record. Look for the Thunder to extend their winning streak to four games and cover the heavy spread at home.

Find odds for every NBA game here.


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