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Thunder vs Pacers Preview and Prediction

The Indiana Pacers raced out to a 25-5 start to their 2013-2014 season. However, since then Indiana is a mediocre 29-21. What is even worse, the Pacers have lost 7 of their past 10 games and now trail the Miami Heat for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

On Sunday, things do not get any easier for the Pacers as they must play the Oklahoma City Thunder. If the regular season was a few games longer, the Pacers may if be caught by the Chicago Bulls who sit in No. 3 in the conference 6 ½ games behind Indiana.

Indiana enters Sunday’s game with an overall record of 54-26 straight up and 36-43-1 against the spread. The Pacers are an impressive 34-6 at home, while 44 of their 80 games have cashed on the UNDER.

Oklahoma City enters this matchup in second place in the Western Conference. Oklahoma City is 58-21 straight up and 43-34-2 against the spread. At home, the Thunder is 33-7 while 40 of their 79 games have cashed on the OVER.

The Thunder have won three straight and 7 of 10 overall. Currently they trail first place San Antonio by 3 ½ games and cannot catch the Spurs for the top spot. If the season were to end today, the Thunder would play the No. 7 seed the Dallas Mavericks.

Indiana was considering resting all of its five starters earlier in the week and did so against Milwaukee on Wednesday night. The Pacers were able to win that game and combined with a Miami loss that same night to Memphis, the Pacers took back first place temporarily in the East.

On Friday night, the Heat and Pacers played in Miami. The Pacers trailed by just three at the half, but were outscored by Miami in the third quarter by 11 points and could not recover, eventually losing by 12.

Oklahoma City and Indiana have not played head to head since December 8 of last year when Oklahoma won 118-94 at home. Kevin Durant scored 36 points to lead the Thunder.

Oklahoma City is 5-2-1 against the spread in its past 8 games overall.

Indiana is 3-13 against the spread in its past 16 games versus opponents from the Western Conference and 1-5 against the number in its past 6 games against Northwest division opponents.

The OVER has cashed in 9 of the past 10 games between the Thunder and Pacers played in Indiana. The Thunder has a record of 5-1 ATS over its past 6 games against the Pacers.

The team playing at home has covered the spread in 4 of the past 5 games between Indiana and Oklahoma City. The underdog has covered the number in 13 of the past 18 games between the two teams.

Pick: Indiana 98-96

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