15* Hawks/Pacers TNT Sunday Early ANNIHILATOR on Indiana -6.5
Atlanta vs. Indiana,
04/21/2013 13:00 EDT,
Score: 90 - 107
Point Spread: -6½/-106 Indiana
I look for the Indiana Pacers to roll to a blowout victory over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of this series Sunday. The Pacers are the most underrated team heading into the 2013 playoffs, and I believe they have the best shot of beating the Miami Heat down the road.
Their run to the Eastern Conference Finals starts with this Game 1 against the hapless Atlanta Hawks, who stumbled into the playoffs losing five of their final seven games. A big reason for their struggles have been injuries to Josh Smith (knee) and Al Horford (shoulder), who are their two best players. While each is expected to give it a go in Game 1, neither will be at 100%.
Indiana has done an excellent job of protecting its home court all season. It is 30-11 at home this season where it is outscoring opponents by an average of 7.7 points/game. One look at the recent history in this series and it's easy to see that home-court advantage is huge.
The home team has won nine of the last 10 meetings in this series between Atlanta and Indiana dating back to 2010. The Pacers won both home meetings this season with a 114-103 victory on February 5th, and a 100-94 triumph on March 25th. The home team is 17-7 ATS in the last 24 meetings. Take the Pacers Sunday.