Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) keeps the ball from Phoenix Suns’ De’Anthony Melton (14) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)
Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) keeps the ball from Phoenix Suns’ De’Anthony Melton (14) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)|(AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)
NBA

NBA: Thursday home Pacers, road Kings spell woe for 76ers, Hornets

Sixers (+4) @ PACERS (224.5) 7:05 pm, Kings (+2.5) @ HORNETS (229.5) 7:05 pm

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

Sixers (+4) @ PACERS (224.5) 7:05 pm
Pick: Pacers -4

We gave out the Sixers laying six points on Tuesday and cashed with ease as Philly blew out the Timberwolves on its home floor. Part of our handicap was that Tuesday was the last game for the Sixers leading into what looks to be a daunting chunk of the schedule against a series of teams all in postseason spots. Thursday night in Indiana is the first of those games and we’re on the Pacers at home here laying four. Indiana leads the NBA in opponent points per game and defense has not been the Sixers forte this season. Myles Turner poses as a defensive stopper for Indiana on Joel Embiid and got in foul trouble when these two teams met last month in Philadelphia. Turner was only on the floor for 17 minutes and Embiid went for 40 points. Despite that effort from Embiid, Indiana still won 113-101. If the Pacers can beat the Sixers in Philadelphia by double digits with Turner playing less than half the game, we’d expect them to beat the Sixers in Indiana with Turner almost certainly playing more than half the game.

Kings (+2.5) @ HORNETS (229.5) 7:05 pm
Pick: Kings +2.5 and Under 229.5

There’s an interesting situational angle to this game. Charlotte just wrapped up a six-game road trip and is playing its first home game in over two weeks. Often times, players say the first game back home from a long road trip can feel like another road game. The logic is sound. If you had a job that required you to travel a lot, but you also had an office at home, that first day back at the office probably wouldn’t feel like a normal day at the office. When it comes to sports gambling, it doesn’t appear that this kind of factor is built into the line which gives us an opportunity to fade the team that’s returning home. Sacramento is a better team than Charlotte anyway and the Kings are catching 2.5 tonight. One of the games on that long road trip for the Hornets was a 104-97 loss against the Kings. The total in that game was 233.5 so the under cashed with ease. Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox have been getting the better of a lot of opposing backcourts recently as the Kings are 4-1 in their last five and covered in four of those five games as well. We like Hield and Fox to overshadow Kemba Walker and the Hornets to score under 110. That makes us pretty confident in a Sacramento win and the game landing under the posted total of 229.5.

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