The main storyline of the 12/13 free NBA pick is the return of Paul George to Indiana. The former Pacers star was traded to the Thunder in the offseason and Wednesday night marks his return to the city where he spent the first seven years of his career. Indiana parted with their star but by many accounts achieved addition by subtraction in doing so. The Pacers acquired Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis in the deal – two players who have been influential in Indiana’s early season success.
Oddsmakers have set OKC as slight -1 favorites for Wednesday night’s game. The Thunder have the name brand appeal for this nationally televised game – but they’re also in last in the Northwest. Do the Pacers get the easy ‘W’ on an emotional night for the hometown fans?
Thunder -1 Getting Any Traction?
By name accounts only the Thunder are going to draw a lot of money from bettors on Wednesday. In addition to George, they also brought in Carmelo Anthony in the offseason and still have the reigning MVP in Russell Westbrook. The returns haven’t been great for OKC, but they’re still in 9th in the Western Conference even after some early season struggles. The Thunder are just 5-5 in their last 10 and will be playing on only a night’s rest after a 103-116 loss at home to Charlotte on Monday night.
Even with all that talented scoring, the Thunder rank just 24th in the NBA in scoring and are 29th in field goal percentage. Anthony is averaging an all-time low in scoring at just 18.0 ppg and in his three of his past four games he’s had only 11,11, and 14 points. George could be iffy against his former team after missing two of the past three games with a calf injury. Either way it looks like OKC will have to rely on their #3 defense to get the W in the 12/13 free NBA pick.
— Eye on Basketball (@EyeOnNBA) December 13, 2017
The Pacers a Strong Play at Home?
Indiana has rattled off four straight wins and they should be rested. The Pacers not only have two nights off before Wednesday’s game, they’ve been at home for over 10 days. Indiana is scoring during their recent run, tallying 115+ points in three of their past five games. That offensive surge should come as no surprise considering the Pacers are 6th in the NBA in points/game and field goal percentage while having the #2 three point shooting team in the league (39.5%).
Oladipo has sure enjoyed returning to the state in which he starred in college with the Hoosiers. The guard is 10th in the NBA in scoring at 24.5 points per game. Oladipo has led Indiana to the 5th spot in the East and has scored 27, 33, and 47 points the last three games. Sabonis has been a big presence off the bench (14 points last game) and Darren Collison is 12th in the NBA in assists. The Pacers have a well rounded team for the 12/13 NBA free pick.
— Tyler Brooke (@TylerDBrooke) December 9, 2017
12/13 FREE NBA Pick – Betting
The Pacers are the 6th most popular bet on the NBA slate for Wednesday but a mere 55% of the public are on the home team. Indiana is a solid 10-4 at home on the year while OKC has struggled on the road going just 3-9. The Thunder are 1-11 ATS in their last 12 and are 0-9 ATS their last nine road games. OKC has talent, but you just can’t back them on the road at this time.
Pick: Indiana Pacers +1