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Round 1: Hawks vs. Pacers NBA Playoff Series Gambling Prediction & Lines

NBA Picks Indiana vs Atlanta

Indiana may be limping into the playoffs but they are doing it as the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Speaking of limping the Atlanta Hawks were doing that too making them look like the perfect first round opponent for the struggling Pacers.[ad-4468020]

Odds to win NBA Championship
Indiana:  +600
Atlanta:  +25000

Odds to win Eastern Conference

Indiana:  +210
Atlanta:  +10000
Pacers Series Price:  -560
Hawks Series Price:  +480

At the All-Star Break the Indiana Pacers looked like the best team in the NBA…by far.

They looked like they would host the Eastern Conference Finals, beat the Miami Heat and then be the favourite against any of the top teams from the West like San Antonio or Oklahoma City…but then they went only .500 in the second half, made a few personnel moves that seemed to disrupr the chemistry and stopped scoring.

It is amazing how even great defense can’t get you a lot of wins when you are scoring in the 70s. The question is whether they can find their game now that it really matters.

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It is the question of these entire playoffs.

For Atlanta, they might be liking their chances given the way that Indiana has played of late but they hardly set the world on fire in the second half either.

Even though it looked like they might have been tanking they still won 7 of their last 10 to just edge the Knicks to make the playoffs. How is this for a stat?  The Hawks are ranked 15th in points for and 15th in points against averaging 101 and 101.5 points per game respectively.

Talk about mediocre.  There is no reason to think they have a run in them either.

Season Series:  The teams split their season series down the middle with each winning 2 games, one at home and one on the road.

In their most recent tilt it was the Hawks that dominated in a 107-88 road victory, another head scratcher for the Pacers.

Key Player for Indiana:

C Roy Hibbert – There is not a player on the Hawks roster who is 7 feet tall, though they do have a few guys with some bulk, so Hibbert should be able to have some success. Hibbert is not a big scorer but he has become a big talker as things have unravelled. They need to go to him in the beginning of games and get him active.

He has not been the target of criticism like other players because his defense has been sound but he needs to give them more on the boards along with more points.

Key Player for Atlanta:

PG Jeff Teague – He keeps improving his scoring every year with a career high of 16.5ppg this season (probably his ceiling). The problem is he is not efficient, shooting just 43%. He is going to have to increase that and be able to get the ball to where guys like Paul Milsap and Kyle Korver can be effective scorers.

Atlanta does not have anyone else in the regular rotation who is capable of getting his own shot with regularity so there could be some ugly possessions if the Pacers put the clamps on him.

Free NBA Playoff Betting Prediction:

As long as the Pacers take game one they should be fine, but if they don’t some serious doubt could creep in. The reality is this is a good matchup for them despite the fact they split the season series. Against a team like Atlanta they are actually the more athletic club and their ability to play good defense regularly will stifle the Hawks.

If they can get a really feel good series win maybe they are back to being a contender.

Pacers win in 5 games.

In terms of betting in this series there may not be a lot of great values. I expect the scores to be low and even though the Pacers have struggled they are still getting a fair amount of respect seeing as they are 7.5 point favourites at home in the series opener. I do think Indiana will drop a game and there could be some really good value the time they pay after that.

There is no value in taking the Pacers to win the series so you have to go game by game and even then there may not be a lot to work with.


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About The Wiesguy

The Wiesguy is a newcomer to the handicapping scene. Hailing from Toronto, Canada he is always sweet on the underdogs and you can often find his thoughts, musings and picks at moneydogs.blogspot.com.