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Indiana Pacers to pip Toronto Raptors in low-scoring face-off

Robbie Purves | April 8, 2016

Milwaukee Bucks @ Boston Celtics

  • NBA
  • Saturday, April 9th
  • Tipoff: 00:30 BST
  • TD Garden, Boston

It’s hard to think of another team in the NBA as lovable as Boston Celtics. A team cultivated from unwanted pieces have come together to form something exceptional. Boston sit joint third in the Eastern Conference and come into the clash with Milwaukee Bucks on a three game stretch.

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Monday, March 21, 2016. The Celtics defeated the Magic 107-96. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The run included a league rocking triumph over record-chasing Golden State Warriors, which saw them snap the side’s 54-game home winning streak.

All-Star Isaiah Thomas is on track to become only the third player in Celtics’ long successful history with 1,600 or more points and 500 or more assists in a single season. Thomas has averaged 25.1 points in his last 10 games and, as a result of this, Coral price his team odds-on at 2/9 to beat Bucks.

Milwaukee have limped through this season and sit 12th in the East with a record of 32-46.

Bucks are one of the slowest teams in the NBA and will be up against the third fastest moving outfit in Boston, their is real potential for a mauling in Massachusetts. Expect a high-scoring affair with the teams at 12/5 to register between 200-210 total points.

Indiana Pacers @ Toronto Raptors

  • NBA
  • Saturday, April 9th
  • Tipoff: 00:30 BST
  • Air Canada Centre, Toronto

Indiana Pacers haven’t won in Toronto in three years but this match could break that run. Indiana are coming of a three game winning streak that saw them defeat Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks and most notably LeBron James’ Eastern Conference leading Cleveland Cavaliers.

Toronto have shuffled its starting lineup in recent weeks, putting Norman Powell in at small forward as DeMarre Carroll continues his recovery from a knee injury. With their current starting team, Raptors have gone 7-3, a rather underwhelming record for a team nipping at Cleveland’s heels.

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) drives around Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier, of France, (10) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 31, 2016. The Magic won 114-94. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Pacers’ Paul George scored 41 points during the All-Star Game in Canada this season and are 8/5 to defeat Toronto in their own back-yard. Expect a low-scoring clash between the league’s mid-table scorers, the teams are 7-4 to score under 188 points.

If the season was to end now both teams would meet each other in the playoffs; the game should have all the intensity as a postseason clash as this could be a rehearsal of when the NBA reaches it’s business end.

New York Knicks @ Philadelphia 76ers

  • NBA
  • Saturday, April 9th
  • Tipoff: 00:00 BST
  • Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia

Philadelphia 76ers sit rock bottom of the Eastern Conference with a truly awful record of 10-68 and have experienced a major change with general manager Sam Hinkie departing. Sixers have not strung consecutive wins together since March 2015 but could upset the odds against New York Knicks.

After an impressive performance from their bench, Philadelphia defeated New Orleans Pelicans 107-93 on Tuesday. The margin of victory was the Sixers’ second-highest of this campaign, this was made even more significant given that the team trailed by eight points after the first period.

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) runs the floor during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday, March 30, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The mood in Philadelphia looks on the up, combine this with the fact that the last time they registered consecutive wins was against the Knicks and you have a recipe for a 11/8 victory over New York.

Knicks have just three games left to avoid a second straight 50-loss season a year after recording a franchise-worst 65. Both teams are among the lowest scoring in the entire league and are at 7/4 to register less than 194.5 total points.

Carmelo Anthony returned from a game off resting and scored 15 points, but New York remained without injured starters Kristaps Porzingis and Jose Calderon who will be missed hugely.

Miami Heat @ Orlando Magic

  • NBA
  • Saturday, April 9th
  • Tipoff: 00:00 BST
  • Amway Center, Orlando

The Miami Heat seem to have stumbled upon form as they endeavour to seal playoff home-court advantage. Florida’s derby against Orlando Magic will see Heat look for their 12th win in 21 games.

Miami are averaging 109 points a game which should see them comfortably sail past Magic, Heat are 21/20 to score more than 104.5 against Orlando’s sluggish roster.

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade walks off the court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Wednesday, March 23, 2016, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 112-88. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

Dwayne Wade’s men are also clamping down defensively, holding their last four opponents to 43.0 percent shooting and are 13/8 to keep scoring below 198.5.

Heat’s Hassan Whiteside performs well against his Florida and shoots a career average 65.1 per cent against Orlando which should see his team overcome their state rivals.

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