Free Philadelphia 76ers @ Indiana Pacers Pick


indiana logoThe final day of the NBA regular season is upon fans everywhere. There’s still one playoff place left to be decided and a few of the seeding position still need to be worked out as well. However, every day is an opportunity for NBA betting fans and in that sense the final day of the regular season is just like any other.

One of tonight’s more intriguing match-ups features the playoff-bound but slumping Indiana Pacers hosting the Philadelphia 76ers who prepare to bid farewell to highly-respected and well-liked head coach Doug Collins. The match-up has no significance on the standings, but the NBA will be watching to see what the 76ers can produce in terms of a farewell for Collins.

Collins hasn’t made his departure official, but numerous reports have suggested that he will be stepping down after the regular season finale. Philadelphia started the 2012-13 season full of optimism after they maintained a core that was only one game away from appearing in the Eastern conference finals. They acquired what many felt could be the crucial piece trading for big center Andrew Bynum. Unfortunately Bynum never played for the 76ers with a knee injury keeping him out for the entire year.

Collins and the 76ers were never able to live up to those preseason expectations, they never seriously competed for a playoff place. The expectation is that this group of players will be energized and ready to play for their veteran coach tonight. This line-up is led by some pretty talented players who can score in Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner. They are still a threat to any team on a given night and they will give Indiana everything they can handle on Wednesday.

The end of the season has been a disappointing slump for a Pacers team that many expected to be the main challenger to the Miami Heat in the Eastern conference. Head coach Frank Vogel has already suggested that key players could be rested in tonight’s match-up and that remains a pretty strong possibility even after Indiana’s penultimate game of the season against the Boston Celtics was cancelled.

Indiana has lost four of their past five games and they were also hit with the late season news that their top scorer from the past few seasons Danny Granger won’t be returning to the line-up. The team’s star players led by young standout Paul George have looked fatigued and weary over the past few games. There are few around the Pacers’ organization who won’t welcome the start of the NBA playoffs.

Betting Preview: Indiana (-4.5) vs. Philadelphia

This spread is pretty tight for several reasons. There is clearly an anticipation that the 76ers will bring it in this game, the Pacers are expected to rest a few of their starters and Indiana generally hasn’t been playing particularly good basketball.

The problem is that there are plenty of reasons to expect Philadelphia to get blown out in this game as well. Collins’ departure is likely to make certain players in Philadelphia’s line-up press that much more and that is dangerous against a Pacers’ defense that creates turnovers and is generally tough to play against. Indiana’s starters are the players who haven’t been playing great basketball. They’ve looked fatigued. Throwing in a few players who have fresher legs, little pressure on them and in fact something to prove should produce a better all-round game from Vogel’s group. The Pacers aren’t going to give Collins a friendly farewell.

The Pick: Indiana (-4.5)   []

Writer Record Against The Spread: 12-5

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