NBA Picks 1/16/17 – Martin Luther King Day
Happy MLK Day! Some of you may be off work today and to those of you that are, we hope you have a good day relaxing and watching some basketball. For everyone clocking in today, we still hope you can catch some hoops action in the NBA’s annual MLK slate. There are eight games on the slate today, beginning at 1 PM EST.
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The Pacers return home from playing in London and are looking for a rebound victory on their home court as the Pelicans come to town.
Indiana has turned their season around for the most. While they’re still not quite where they need to be regarding seeding – they would be a playoff team if the season ended today. They’re coming off a 140-112 beat down at the hands of the Hornets last Thursday at London’s O2 Arena.
The defeat dropped their record to 20-19 on the season. However, they won five straight before dropping a game to the Nuggets and are in the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Pelicans are near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, but they have played well against the East this season. They will be playing their fifth straight game on the road this afternoon and 2-2 on their road trip so far.
New Orleans is coming off a 99-107 loss at Chicago on Saturday night. They’re long shots for a postseason berth, but there is a lot of season left. Going into today’s game, they have a 16-25 record and rank 11th in the West.
The Pacers opened as -5.5 favorites in this game, and that’s where the odds stand now at just about every online sportsbook. Bettors have been heavy on the Pacers since opening, with at least 60 percent of bets coming in on Indiana.
The Pelicans have undoubtedly played a tougher schedule than Indiana, but that’s not an endorsement of them tonight. The Pacers have played excellent ball, aside from their most recent loss and are coming off several more days of rest.
They’re also one of the better home teams in the NBA. They are 15-5 at home while the Pelicans are just 6-14 on the road this season. Lay the points with the home squad.
Pick: Pacers -5.5
Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors -7.5 Total: 225.5
This is the game that everyone is eagerly awaiting. The defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers will take on the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
The Cavaliers come into this game playing their worst basketball in quite some time. They managed to get a win on Friday at Sacramento, but have lost two out of their last four games. Still, Cleveland has one of the best records in the NBA and are first in the Eastern Conference with a 29-10 mark.
Golden State acquisition of Kevin Durant has made them the most feared team in the league and with good reason. The Warriors lead the NBA in record at 34-6 and are first in the Western Conference. They have won their last three games, including a 127-107 blowout against the visiting Pistons on Thursday.
Betting odds haven’t changed much at most bookmakers since opening. The Cavaliers opened as -7.5 favorites, and that is where the odds stand now. Betting action on both sides has been split 50/50 for the most part.
Some might see this as a buy-low spot for the Cavs, but the reality is that they are just simply not playing well as of late. They haven’t shot well over the past two weeks, and their defense has been awful. That’s going to be a problem against Golden State, especially at Oracle.
Cleveland can win this game. They do have the talent to do so, but they’re a hard team to want to wager on lately. I could see Golden State easily winning this game by double digits.
Pick: Warriors -7.5