MetroBet previews a pair of games on the NBA docket for Thursday night as the Philadelphia 76ers take on the Indiana Pacers and the Chicago Bulls tackle the Denver Nuggets.
Philadelphia 76ers at Indiana Pacers (-2.5)
Moneyline: 76ers +120, Pacers -140
Betting Total: 224.5 points
Time (Eastern), TV: 7 p.m., TNT
The Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers, two of the best Over bets in the NBA of late, collide at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Thursday night.
The Pacers have gone Over in nine straight contests, with an average combined score per game of 231.5. Victor Oladipo and company are just 21st in points per tilt (109.0) but are second in the association in field goal percentage (48.3) and three-point percentage (37.3), so they make their shots count. During their nine-game Over streak, Indiana has shot below 45 percent only once, a 135-108 loss to the Celtics on Jan. 9.
The 76ers have exceeded the total in four of their last five contests, posting an average combined total of 237.8 points. Joel Embiid sat out one of the five tilts but averaged 28 points per game in the other four affairs. Ben Simmons has averaged nearly 20 points per game in January, significantly higher than his season average of 16.7 points per game.
What might stop the Sixers from running wild on the Pacers is the venue. Philly is 1-8 straight-up in their last nine trips to Indiana, while the Pacers are 8-1 straight-up (6-3 against the spread) in their last nine home games overall.
Prediction: Pacers win, 120-112
The play: Pacers -2.5 and 76ers vs. Pacers Over 224.5 points Parlay (+264)
Chicago Bulls at Denver Nuggets (-13)
Moneyline: Bulls +750, Nuggets -1000
Betting Total: 212.5 points
Time (Eastern): 9 p.m.
Denver Nuggets are poised to post the biggest blowout of the evening when the beleaguered Chicago Bulls, losers of eight in a row, come to the Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets will try to wipe the bad taste out of the mouths that the Golden State Warriors left on Tuesday night. The reigning champs dropped 142 points on Denver that night in an emphatic 31-point victory. The Nuggets have failed to cover in three straight overall, but they’re still 9-4 against the spread in their last 13 home games (12-1 straight-up).
Nikola Jokic is just one game removed from a 40-point performance against Portland. Bettors should expect more of the same against the Bulls’ 17th-ranked defense (110.9 points per game allowed).
Chicago is just 3-6-1 against the spread in their last 10 efforts against Western Conference opponents. Their NBA-worst offense (100.9 points per game) will have great difficulty against Denver’s stalwart home defense (fourth at 104 points per game allowed).
Prediction: Nuggets win, 116-97
The play: Nuggets -13