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Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) celebrates his dunk against the New York Knicks during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Steven Ryan)
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) celebrates his dunk against the New York Knicks during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Steven Ryan)|Associated Press
NBA

NBA Saturday: Greg Frank picks Pacers vs Sixers to be a South Philly slugfest and the Hornets vs Bucks to keep the antlers' points down

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

1-1 Friday, 36-30-1 overall.

Pacers (+4) @ Sixers (206.5)

Pick: Under 206.5

The Sixers are playing their third game in four nights on Saturday at Wells Fargo Center when they welcome in the Indiana Pacers. On Wednesday night against the Kings, the Sixers kept Sacramento at arm’s length most of the game, but never really pulled away and failed to cover the 9.5-point line. Last night at Madison Square Garden, Philly had to expend quite a bit of energy coming back from a 12-point deficit at halftime against the Knicks. The Pacers are never the flashiest team in the NBA, but you can always count on them to defend. Sure enough, Indiana is fifth in the league in scoring defense and the Sixers are fourth. Both teams have under records better than .500. Expect a rock fight in South Philly tonight and the first team to 100 wins.

Hornets (+13) @ Bucks (226)

Pick: Under 226

Charlotte is also playing its third game in four nights. The Hornets won a pair of close games earlier in the week against Detroit and now visit the Bucks before returning to Charlotte on Monday to play the Suns. Offense isn’t exactly Charlotte’s forte, as it has been having much more success in lower-scoring games in the first quarter of the NBA season. At the same time, 13 points is way too much for us to lay in this one in order to back Milwaukee. How do we know the Bucks aren’t just going to go through the motions and win this one by 7-10 points? If there’s ever a time to win with a C effort, it would be in this spot for a contender like the Bucks against a lottery team in the Hornets. While the bigger factor in our handicap is a bad offensive team playing for the third time in four nights, we’re not ruling out some laziness from the Bucks either. That’s enough for us to pass on the side in this one, but makes us love the game under 226 total points.

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