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NBA Midweek Specials: Pacers and Lakers our picks

Wed, Nov 7, 9:33am by Staff Writer

NBA action continues on Thursday (AEDT) with an ESPN Australia double header, the first game features two contenders in the Eastern Conference, with Indiana hosting Philadelphia while the Los Angeles Lakers meet Minnesota at the Staples Center.

Philadelphia 76ers at Indiana Pacers

Thursday, 8 November 2018 at 12pm (AEDST) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

The Indiana Pacers have asserted themselves as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference after a 7-3 start to the season.

They host Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, with the Sixers a much better home team than road team if early season numbers hold true.

Philly has won all six of its home games, but is just {enter} on the road this season.

The Pacers have shown they can win at home and on the road, with a 3-1 home mark and 4-2 road mark.

Both teams will enter this match with no injury concerns and it is one of four times they will meet this season.

The Pacers won last season’s series 2-1 and has won two on the trot, including a 101-98 win at Philadelphia in March.

Indiana’s leading scorer is former number two draft pick Victor Oladipo, who is scoring 22.5 points per game.

Oladipo nailed a game winning three-pointer against Boston on Sunday with just three seconds on the clock to give the Pacers their seventh win of the season.

For Philadelphia, the bulk of their explosiveness comes from Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

Embiid leads the second with just under 30 points per game, while Simmons is averaging 13 points per game, 9 rebounds and eight assists in his second full NBA season.

It’s been a tough road schedule to start for Philadelphia, who have lost to Boston, Toronto, Milwaukee and Detroit on the road.

They will struggle to get going in a hostile environment in Indiana and the Pacers should cover any line up to 5.5-points in this one.

Check out the 1-10 margin market for some extra value if the line is in that range.

Best bet- Indiana to cover a handicap of 5.5-points or less

Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Lakers

Thursday, 8 November 2018 at 2:30pm (AEDST) at Staples Center, Los Angeles

Minnesota and Los Angeles play for the second time this season and the first time at Staples Center on Thursday afternoon.

It has been a challenging season for both clubs so far, with both below 0.500.

Minnesota has been plagued by the trade saga involving superstar Jimmy Butler, with the veteran sitting out Monday’s match at Portland for ‘precautionary rest’.

Butler’s status will be unknown until game time, in what is the Wolves’ fourth game in a five-game road trip to the West Coast.

Minnesota has lost all four of its road games this season, but the Lakers have been far from a sure thing on their home court.

LA is 2-2 at home, with wins against Dallas and Denver.

New signing LeBron James predictably leads the scoring for the Lakers with 28 points per game and he tops the rebounds, assists and steals category as well.

JaVale McGee has been a scoring revelation at centre for the Lakers, with 15.1 points per game and 3.5 blocks per game this season.

The Wolves swept the season series against the Lakers last season, winning all four games between the teams.

In their October 29 game this season, LeBron James scored 29 points for the visitors, as they fell four points short after lead at the final break.

Jimmy Butler had 32 points for Minnesota as they prevailed 124-120.

The Lakers shot better from the field (47 per cent) than the Wolves (43 per cent), but Minnesota lived on the foul line, shooting twice as many free throws as the Lakers.

Los Angeles should be able to catch a road weary Wolves team in this one, with Jimmy Butler’s disinterest sure to be a headline until he is inevitably traded.

Back to the Lakers to cover any handicap of six points or less.

Best bet- Los Angeles Lakers to cover any handicap of six points or less

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