Patriots (PK) and first half under 24 One thing about Super Bowls is they don't tend to start with a bang.
NBA picks: Saturday, March 15
Brooklyn (-3) at Washington
A few factors at play here. The Nets are playing their best basketball of the season, having won seven of eight, their only slipup coming in a letdown loss to the Celtics in Boston. They are 7-1 ATS in that stretch and are also rested thanks to two days off after a huge win in Miami on Wednesday. In a vacuum, Brooklyn would make for a good situational play considering the current state of the Wizards, who needed overtime to knock off the Magic in Orlando on Friday night and saw Bradley Beal suffer a sprained ankle. They’ve also leveled off since a six-game winning streak, splitting their last six contests while going 1-5 against the number. Between the general fatigue of an overtime back-to-back and the fact that Beal is unlikely to play less than 24 hours after injuring his ankle, expecting Washington to hang with a peaking Brooklyn squad – even at home – is a tall order.
Indiana (-5) at Detroit
A good rule of thumb is not to lay a sizable number of points with a road favorite against a decent team, but the Pacers qualify as an exception. They appear to have righted the ship since their worst stretch this season, winning two straight after a four-game slide. In their only trip to Detroit this season, the Pacers left with a 99-91 win, and they’ve won three straight overall in the Motor City by an average of 12 points. The Pistons, meanwhile, have started to bottom out lately, dropping eight of their last 10 overall. They continue to be one of the league’s poorer home teams, having lost five of their last eight games at the Palace while going an identical 3-5 ATS in that span. The Pacers know they were lucky that Miami’s skid coincided with their own. A thorough effort can be counted on in this one.
Overall picks: 10-9-2
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