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Pacers Continue to Set the Pace in Central

Pacers set the Pace in Central

Pacers set the Pace in Central

The Indiana Pacers are the runaway leaders in the NBA’s Central Division. In fact, their only race is to the Eastern Conference number one seed. They hold a 1.5 game edge over defending champion Miami Heat going into Friday’s game with the Washington Wizards at home. The Heat will be on the second game of a Big Apple back-to-back when they take on the Brooklyn Nets one night after falling to the New York Knicks.

Despite the fact that nobody has a realistic shot at catching Indiana, the only team in the division not in the race is the Milwaukee Bucks at 7-27. The Bucks have picked a good year to be bad though as there are some real studs in next year’s NBA Draft. Jabari Parker, Julius Randle or Andrew Wiggins will likely be wearing a Bucks uniform next season. The Bucks will host the Chicago Bulls tonight who despite being in second place and in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff chase, have decided to make some interesting player moves. Earlier this week they made a deal to get Andrew Bynum from the Cleveland Cavaliers for Luol Deng. Why anyone would want this headache is a good question. The Bulls are 15-18 which believe it or not is good for the sixth seed right now. That is important because the six is going to avoid Miami or Indiana in the first round and instead will likely get the Atlanta Hawks.

the Detroit Pistons will be at the Philadelphia 76ers tonight. Detroit is hovering near the eighth spot right now at 14-22. They really need to get things turned around however as they have lost six in a row. Tonight they look to get their first win of 2014 against the 12-23 Sixers who are not far off the pace for the eighth spot despite that terrible record. Philly had a fantastic West Coast trip that saw them win four in a row, including wins over the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers but have since come back to earth dropping two straight to the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Cavs.

The Cavs are the only team playing a Western Conference opponent tonight when they visit the Utah Jazz. Utah is another team looking forward to the lottery but the Cavs can still make a playoff run. This shows the difference between East and West as the two have very similar records with Cleveland at 12-23 and the Jazz at 12-25.

Bovada has the odds for tonight’s Central Division games:

Detroit at Philadelphia– The Pistons are -2.5 and the Sixers are +2.5 ATS. We are going to take the Sixers +2.5. Until the Pistons prove they can win one, we are staying away from them.

Cleveland at Utah– Cleveland is +3 and Utah -3 in this one. We will go with the Cavs +3 points as they have more incentive to win.

Indiana at Washington-  Indiana is -9 -115 and the Wizard are +9 -105 ATS.  We like the Pacers to cover here. Take Indy -9 -115.

Chicago at Milwaukee– Chicago is -4 and the Bucks +4 ATS. Let’s go with the Bucks + 4 for the upset. Chicago is a team in a mess right now.




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