Portland Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside (21) interrupts a shot by New York Knicks guard Reggie Bullock (25) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020.
Portland Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside (21) interrupts a shot by New York Knicks guard Reggie Bullock (25) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020.|Kathy Willens | Associated Press
NBA

NBA picks of the day: Trail Blazers vs Pacers, and Knicks vs 76ers — with no Embiid and Simmons, how do you bet Philly?

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

2-0 Wednesday, 99-94-2 overall.

Knicks (+6.5) @ Sixers (210.5)

Pick: Under 210.5

We just wrote yesterday about the Sixers over-under record which is often correlated to their home-road record. At home, overs have been good bets in Sixers games and vice versa. However, with Joel Embiid joining Ben Simmons on the shelf now, how can we expect Philly to score much? The Sixers were already not very good offensively with Embiid and Simmons. Take them both out and you have a below average offensive team facing off against a horrible offensive team tonight in the Knicks. The Sixers may win this game, but it’s going to be ugly, it’s going to be low-scoring and their fans aren’t going to leave with any kind of reassurance. The schedule is soft enough for Philadelphia down the stretch where there may be a lot of games like tonight. We think that means a lot of games staying under the total.

Trail Blazers (+10) @ Pacers (218.5)

Pick: Trail Blazers +10

So, Indiana beats up on Charlotte by 39 points and is now laying double digits? Prior to the blowout win against the Hornets, the Pacers lost by 38 in Toronto. They are both 4-6 straight-up and against the spread in their last 10 games. The reason the Indiana Pacers are 10-point chalk tonight as nothing to do with the Indiana Pacers and everything to do with the Portland Trail Blazers. Damian Lillard is likely to miss at least one more game nursing a groin injury that kept him out during Portland’s recent skid of four losses in its last five games. However, when the team laying the big number isn’t a team that deserves to be such a hefty favorite, the only thing stopping most bettors from getting to the window with the dog is this kind of recency bias. Well that won’t stop us. While some look at Portland and see a team floundering without its superstar, we see this as an opportunity to buy low on a team that played for the Western Conference championship last year against an overvalued opponent.

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