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Pacers Notes: Haliburton among top guards for NBA All-Star votes, Pacers tend to beat the odds

The odds are long for Tyrese Haliburton to be voted onto the All-Star game, but he should be named once production is valued over popularity.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

NBA All-Star voting is well underway and Friday all votes count TRIPLE, so if every Pacers fan in the world casts a vote for Tyrese Haliburton, he may have a shot at starting. Although, it doesn’t appear there are enough Pacers fans in the world to make that happen right now.

The initial returns from All-Star voting were released on Thursday and as you can see, it is just nice to see Haliburton’s name among the top ten backcourt players in the East.

The popularity contest for the starting spots leans heavily on the most popular teams and veteran players. In the West there were six Warriors and Russell Westbrook among the top players, so don’t stress it. We also see in the East, there are a lot of people who just love watching Kyrie hoop and don’t really care about any off-court comments or actions that don’t impact his game.

Regardless, Haliburton remains in a good spot to earn the All-Star nod from coaches in this highly competitive season. It will still be a challenge but may end up coming down to rewarding players on teams that have more success and the Pacers are certainly exceeding expectations in that category thanks in large part to Hali’s efforts.

Against the Odds

Unless something happens to the lineups prior to tip time, the Pacers will be slight favorites against the Blazers on Friday night. The Pacers have only been favored in nine games so far this season and are 6-3 in those games. Overall, the Pacers are 24-15 against the spread, which includes some big moneyline wins along the way. Most notable wins over Philly (+536), Golden State (+480), Brooklyn (+437) and Boston (+342).

If the Pacers hold their favorite status against Portland, it will be the first time they tip off as favorites since the Nets decided to sit their top eight players. So, yeah, be careful when the Pacers are favored.