NBA Betting — Blazers Face Double-Tough Road Test Against Revenge-Minded Pacers

The Portland Trail Blazers are probably at that point in the season where they’re trying to demonstrate that there red-hot start was no fluke. At the moment they seem to be in the doldrums offensively, but they are going to need to have a quick turnaround if they are going to be successful on Friday night as they visit the Indiana Pacers in NBA betting action that is slated to get underway at 7 PM Eastern time at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

This Blazer team has lost four of its last five games on the road, and was none too impressive in defeating the New York Knicks on Wednesday night. They are well represented in the All-Star game, who two players (LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard), while the Pacers, who have the best record in the Eastern Conference, where they lead the Miami Heat, also have two All-Stars (Paul George and Roy Hibbert).

Portland is the third-place team in the West and one of the big surprises in the league this season. They have a record of 35-14 straight up, and they are 26-23 against the basketball pointspread. Indiana has been profitable all the way around; they are 38-10 straight up and a sizzling 31-17 when measured against the basketball odds. This is a team that has also been close to invincible at home, as we will illustrate.

In the NBA betting lines that have been established on this game by the people over at BetDSI, the Pacers are favored:

Indiana Pacers -5.5
Portland Trail Blazers +5.5

Over 197 points -110
Under 197 points -110

If this season ended today, the Pacers would have the best record in the NBA, as they are percentage points ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder. And if they were able to carry a home-court advantage throughout the entire playoffs, one would have to believe it would give them a tremendous leg up on the competition. Indiana is the NBA’s best home team at the moment, winning 23 of their 25 games straight-up, and they have given basketball bettors an awful lot of pleasure as well; that is, if they have backed the Pacers side, posting a 17-8 record against the points. There is no mystery as to how Indiana does it. This is a team that has bought into the defensive philosophy of Frank Vogel, and they are the best in the league when it comes to shutting down the opposition, allowing just 41.3% shooting and 90.2 points per game. These numbers get even better when the Pacers are in the Bankers Life Fieldhouse, as they have yielded just 39.4% shooting (a microscopic 30.6% from beyond the three-point arc) and 84.8 points per contest. Not only have they covered 17 of 25 home games, but seventeen games have also gone under the total as it has been posted in the NBA betting lines at BetDSI.

If you look at the way the Blazers have played lately, you would imagine that they are coming right into the Pacers’ wheelhouse. Portland has had an awful time scoring, averaging only 91.8 points per game over their last five, during which time they have shot just 39.4%. If this was the kind of team that felt most comfortable slowing down the pace, this wouldn’t be such a big deal. However, Portland is accustomed to playing very up-tempo, as they average just under 108 points per contest. So this will be a very severe challenge for them, as Indiana will be acting very decisively to slow them down.

Many NBA bettors know that this is a revenge game for Indiana. These teams met previously this season; on December 2 the Blazers won a 106-102 decision on their home floor, overcoming 43 points for Paul George, which was his career-high. They were bolstered by 54 combined points from Damien Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge. George would love to get hot against the Blazers again, but he is on a cold streak at the moment, shooting only 32% in his last six games. As usual, the Pacers (-230 to win outright in the basketball money line) will count on defense to get it done.

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