Paul George returns to Indiana as the Oklahoma City Thunder lock horns with the Pacers for the first time this season. Indiana remains tied for third place in the Eastern Conference with a 43-25 record despite losing Victor Oladipo to a season-ending injury in January. The 41-26 Thunder have won three of their last four games straight up and ATS and are coming off a 108-96 point victory against Brooklyn last night. We break down the best bets for this matchup so you can beat the odds.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs Indian Pacers (-1, 220.5)
Indiana averages only 26.6 ppg in the first quarter, while allowing only 26.7. Today they take on a Thunder offense that has struggled to get going early, averaging just 24.3 ppg in the opening quarter over their previous three games.
Take Under the 1Q total.
Prediction: First Quarter Total - Under 56.5 (-110)
First Half Bet
Indiana has the fifth-best first-half home scoring margin in the league at +5 while Oklahoma City has an average first-half margin of -0.7 on the road. Back Indiana to jump out to an early lead in this one.
Prediction: First Half Spread - Indiana -0.5 (-110)
The Pacers don't have much in the way of offensive weapons, with Bojan Bodganovic currently carrying the scoring burden. But he should have a hard time tonight going up against Paul George and his tough defense. OKC, largely due to PG-13, allows only 18.3 ppg to opposing small forwards the third lowest number in the league.
While OKC and Indiana haven't played this season Bogdanovic was limited against the Thunder last year averaging just 9.5 ppg and shooting five for 17 from the field. Fade Bogdanovic tonight and take the Under on his points of 20.5.
Prediction: Bojan Bogdanovic points - Under 20.5 (-110)
Full Game Total
Oklahoma City has one of the top offenses in the league averaging 115.1 ppg but that number has plummeted to 105.3 ppg over their last three games. The Pacer's offense has been even more dreadful over that stretch, scoring just 96.7 ppg.
Thankfully for the Pacers, their defense has often been able to bail out their offense all season, allowing a league-low 103.9 ppg, including just 100 ppg at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Under has cashed in each of the Pacers' last four games and eight of the Thunder's previous ten.
Both of these teams also have a tendency to consistenly play to the Under against their best opponents, with the Pacers 21-8 to the Under against teams with a winning percentage above .600 and the Thunder 24-11 to the Under in their last 35 road games versus teams with winning home records. Back those trends to continue tonight and take the Under.
Prediction: Under 220.5 (-110)
Full Game Side
Both teams have had their share of troubles recently, with the Pacers going 3-5 straight up and 2-6 ATS over their last eight games and OKC going 3-7 in an eight-game span between February 14 and March 8 (with two of those victories coming in overtime). However, it looks like Oklahoma has turned things around in the last week winning three of their last four games, all against teams on pace to make the playoffs.
OKC is the fourth-highest scoring team in the league during the second half of games (57 ppg) and even in their recent offensive rut that number has slid to a still very respectable 56 ppg. Expect them to improve their play in the second half tonight.
With Paul George starting to look like his old self again after an efficient 9-18 performance from the field last night, we're backing the Thunder and their star power to pull out the victory tonight.
Prediction: Moneyline Oklahoma City (-105)