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Pacers-Thunder, Celtics-Jazz Betting Odds – February 19

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Feb/19/2016
Pacers-Thunder, Celtics-Jazz Betting Odds – February 19

Carrie Stroup here with your Pacers-Thunder and Celtics-Jazz betting odds for Friday.  Oklahoma City -8, Total: 215

INDIANA PACERS (28-25) at OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (40-14)

The Pacers will be looking to make a statement with a victory over the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Friday.

The Pacers lost 117-95 as 3.5-point home favorites against the Hornets before the All-Star break and the team will be hoping for a better performance in Oklahoma City on Friday. Indiana allowed Charlotte to shoot 51.7% from the field in that game and that is something that can’t happen against the Thunder. The Pacers also need to shoot the ball a lot better in this one, as they hit less than 25% of their threes in each of their final two games before the break.

The Thunder have, won-and-covered in each of their past two games. They most recently hosted the Pelicans and defeated them 121-95 as 12-point favorites. Oklahoma City shot 45.5% from the outside against Phoenix two games ago and followed it up by hitting 37.5% against New Orleans. If this team can continue hitting the three consistently then it should be hard to beat moving forward.

These teams most recently met on Apr. 2, 2015, and the Pacers won that game 116-104 as 2.5-point home favorites. Yet, the Thunder have won five straight at home in this series. One thing that sticks out when looking at this game is that Indiana is a miserable 6-17 ATS when facing Western Conference teams this season.

The Pacers will be looking to get off to a good start after the All-Star break and one guy that will be feeling extremely confident heading into this game is SF Paul George (23.3 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.8 SPG). George was on fire in the All-Star Game, pouring in 41 points on 16-for-26 shooting from the field and 9-for-19 shooting from the outside. Performing that way amongst the league’s best should have him feeling good heading into this matchup with a talented Oklahoma City team. He’ll need to also be ready to play defense, though, as he’ll be going up against Kevin Durant in this game.

Two other guys that will need to step up for Indiana are SG Monta Ellis (13.9 PPG, 4.8 APG, 3.0 RPG, 1.8 SPG) and C Myles Turner (9.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.4 BPG). Ellis had really been struggling before the break, averaging 9.6 PPG in 33.8 MPG over the past five contests. He was shooting just 22.2% from the outside in those games and he will need to find his stroke. He is the second-best scorer on the Pacers and needs to start to show it soon.

Turner, meanwhile, was averaging 12.2 PPG, 7.2 RPG and 1.0 BPG in five games before the break. He has provided this team with some much needed rim protection and if he can continue to avoid foul trouble then this Pacers team will be much more threatening the rest of the way.

The Thunder will be going for their third straight victory on Friday and they will need big performances from their superstars. Both PG Russell Westbrook (24.1 PPG, 10.0 APG, 7.6 RPG and 2.3 SPG) and SF Kevin Durant (27.7 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.2 BPG, 1.0 SPG) have to show up in order for Oklahoma City to defeat a tough Indiana team in this one. Westbrook should be able to have a monstrous game against the Pacers. Indiana does not have anybody with the size or speed to really stick with him, so if he attacks the basket then he should have a lot of success on Friday.

Durant, meanwhile, will need to work very hard for his points. Paul George is an excellent defender and he will make things difficult on Durant. He should, however, be able to score regardless. Defensively, Durant is going to need to lock in as well. He can’t afford to let George get hot in this one.

An x-factor for Oklahoma City in this game just might be C Enes Kanter (11.9 PPG, 7.7 RPG). Kanter will be matched up against Turner for a majority of this contest and the Thunder can use a solid performance from him on both ends of the floor. He was averaging 12.6 PPG and 9.0 RPG in the five games leading up to the All-Star break and the Thunder need him to provide that type of consistent production moving forward.

BOSTON CELTICS (32-23) at UTAH JAZZ (26-27)

Boston -1, Total: 195.5

The Jazz will be looking to avoid a three-game losing streak when they host the Celtics on Friday.

Boston has not played since facing the Clippers before the All-Star break, but the team won that game 139-134 as a 1.5-point home favorite on Feb. 10 and was really playing well before the time off. The Celtics have won-and-covered in five of their past six games and they have also won 10 of their past 12 SU.

The Jazz, meanwhile, are coming off of a brutal 103-89 loss in Washington on Thursday. Utah was a two-point favorite in that game and have now lost two straight contests both SU and ATS.

Boston has gotten the better of this matchup in recent years, going 3-1 SU but just 2-2 ATS over the past three seasons. The teams have split victories both SU and ATS when playing in Utah in that span.

One thing that favors the Celtics in this game is the fact that the team is 18-6 ATS after a game where they made 12 or more threes over the past two seasons. The Jazz are, however, an impressive 7-0 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite this season and 13-4 ATS after failing to cover two of their past three as well.

The Celtics were one of the hottest teams in the league before the break and a lot of that had to do with the play of All-Star PG Isaiah Thomas (21.5 PPG, 6.6 APG, 3.0 RPG, 1.2 SPG). Thomas has been a force offensively on the year and had possibly his best game of the season in the win over the Clippers before the break. Thomas had 36 points and 11 assists in that victory and he should be in for a big game on Friday. The Jazz are weak at the point guard position and Thomas is going to be aggressive in this one. His speed should allow him to get to the basket and when his opponents overplay the drive, he won’t hesitate to knock down an outside shot.

One guy that must play well in this one is SF Jae Crowder (14.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.8 SPG), who will be matched up against Gordon Hayward for a majority of the game. Boston will need Crowder to really play a good game defensively, but he’ll also need to knock down some shots. That shouldn’t be a problem for him, as he was averaging 18.5 PPG in the two games prior to the All-Star break.

C Jared Sullinger (9.9 PPG, 8.5 RPG) will also be counted on to come through in this one. Sullinger was excellent in a win over the Clippers before the break, finishing with 21 points, 11 boards and seven assists. If he can be more consistent the rest of the season then the Celtics are going to be a very tough team to beat.

The Jazz have lost two straight games and will now be hungry to get back into the win column in this meeting with the Celtics at home. One guy that will need to really play well in this one is SF Gordon Hayward (19.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.2 SPG). The forward is this team’s best player, but he is not shooting the ball well at the moment. Over the past five games, Hayward is making just 42.2% of his shots from the field and a miserable 25.0% of his threes. If he cannot be a bit more efficient then the Jazz are going to continue to lose games.

Fortunately for Utah, SG Rodney Hood (15.0 PPG) has taken his game to another level offensively. Over the past five games, Hood is averaging 22.0 PPG on 47.1% shooting from the floor and 38.2% shooting from three. He is long and has the ability to make difficult shots, so he should be able to find some success against a smaller Celtics backcourt on Friday.

Inside, both PF Derrick Favors (16.4 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 1.3 BPG) and C Rudy Gobert (10.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 2.4 BPG) will need to make their presence felt. Favors is a very good offensive player and should be able to score around the basket against a smaller Celtics frontcourt. Gobert, meanwhile, is one of the best rim protectors in basketball and he’ll need to make Isaiah Thomas be afraid to drive into the paint.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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