The Indiana Pacers (12-11) visit the Golden State Warriors (13-11) on Monday. With that, we continue our NBA odds series with a Pacers-Warriors prediction and pick.
Despite holding the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, Indiana has lost three consecutive games. The Pacers are 13-10 against the spread while 50 percent of their games have gone over. Golden State, on the other hand, has won five of their last six to propel them to sixth in the Western Conference. The Warriors are 11-13 against the spread while 57 percent of their games have gone over. This will be the first of two meetings between the teams. They split last year’s series, 1-1.
Here are the Pacers-Warriors NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Pacers-Warriors Odds
Indiana Pacers: +10.5 (-110)
Golden State Warriors: -10.5 (-110)
Over: 237 (-110)
Why The Pacers Could Cover The Spread
Indiana has been one of the most surprising teams in the NBA thus far. Largely assumed to be tanking this year, the Pacers are instead right in the mix for playoff contention. Indiana ranks ninth in scoring and 18th in offensive efficiency. They’ve been vulnerable on defense, however, ranking 26th in points allowed and 22nd in efficiency.
The Pacers are not a very good rebounding team, either, as they rank 24th in rebound differential and 19th in rebound rate. They will notably be without guards Tyrese Haliburton and TJ McConnell Monday night due to injury.
Without both of their point guards, Indiana will be looking for a perimeter player to step up in what projects to be a shootout. While rookie Bennedict Mathurin doesn’t project to help them much as far as distributing, he’s surely in line to take on the bulk of the scoring load. Mathurin is a skilled scorer as a rookie, averaging 18.5 points per game. While he isn’t the most efficient scorer (just 42.5 percent from the field), the rookie has been lights-out from beyond the arc. Mathurin shoots 39 percet from three and if he’s able to catch fire from deep, the Pacers could be in a good position to cover a hefty 10.5-point spread.
While Indiana’s guard play is a major question mark, Pacers backers should at least feel confident in their ability to dominate down low. Center Myles Turner has quietly put together a strong season. He’s averaged 17.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. He’s been remarkably efficient as well, shooting 54 percent from the field and 39 percent from three. His ability to stretch the floor as a big man is a key part of Indiana’s offensive success thus far. That being said, Turner has perhaps been most valuable on defense. Turner ranks second in the league in blocks, averaging 2.4 blocks per outing. Golden State is weak down low – something to keep in mind when making a Pacers-Warriors prediction.
It should also help the Pacers that the Warriors won’t be with Andrew Wiggins in the game. He has become the team’s unquestioned second-best player, so his absence for the Dubs is one less problem for Indiana.
Why The Warriors Could Cover The Spread
Golden State has shaken off an abysmal start to the season and has slowly looked like the team that won the championship last season. The Warriors have an elite offense that ranks third in scoring and seventh in efficiency. Their defense and rebounding have been major question marks, however, as they rank just 25th in points allowed and 18th in defensive efficiency. The Warriors have been puttered on the glass, ranking 21st in rebound differential and 25th in rebound rate.
While the team as a whole hasn’t been wildly impressive thus far, that is no fault of Stephen Curry’s. Curry is in the midst of one of the best seasons of his Hall of Fame-worthy career. The reigning Finals MVP ranks fourth in the league in scoring with 30.8 points. He’s been incredibly impressive on the glass, as his 6.7 rebounds ranks second on the team despite his 6’3″ stature.
Far and away the most impressive part of Curry’s season has been his efficiency. Steph is shooting 51 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc. Given his slight frame and tendency for taking wild shots, both of those numbers are absurd, especially considering how little help he’s gotten from their surrounding players. Indiana has struggled defensively all season long and with both of their guards out Curry projects for another monster performance.
Final Pacers-Warriors Prediction & Pick
Golden State is heating up and the line reflects that. Without Haliburton, I don’t see Indiana standing much of a chance as Golden State should be able to torch a poor Pacers defense.
Final Pacers-Warriors Prediction & Pick: Golden State Warriors -10.5 (-110)