Indiana Pacers 2021 NBA Win Total Odds & Pick: Ignore the Rumors, Bet the Over
David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Victor Oladipo
Pacers Win Total Odds
The Case for the Over
Why will the Pacers be worse?
There’s been no conversation about trading Victor Oladipo in months. They returned all their key players: Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon, TJ Warren, Myles Turner.
They still play in a division with three .500 or worse teams, in the lesser conference. There’s internal stability and roster continuity. Those things are vital in a year expected to be disrupted by COVID.
New coach Nate Bjorkgren comes highly recommended. Nate McMillan did great work with them, but also had the Pacers taking very few 3-pointers. That should increase, which would improve a mediocre offense. There’s no reason to think they’ll fall from their No. 6 defensive ranking.
So why is this team all the way down to one game over .500? For comparison, the highest Atlanta Hawks win total is 36.5.
It really centers around Oladipo. If they trade him, they’re getting a decent package back. If Giannis signs his extension, the Heat may go for Oladipo if the price for James Harden is too steep.
In that instance, the Pacers would get back multiple role players because the Heat don’t have the picks to make that the selling point of a trade package. You’d rather have Oladipo, for sure, long-term.
But in the short term, evaluating this season vs. last season, Oladipo wasn’t great coming back from injury last year. Even if they trade Oladipo, they only need enough to replace his production and impact from last season, which wasn’t great.
The Case for the Under
They’re still reliant on two bigs who don’t play well together. They tried to trade Turner to the Celtics this offseason for Hayward; those kinds of things can hurt your team later with chemistry.
Malcolm Brogdon played 54 of the Pacers’ 73 games last season. TJ Warren is suffering from plantar fasciitis, which is painful as hell, and he didn’t get a full offseason to rest.
If Bjorkgren is not an upgrade over McMillan, that alone puts the Pacers in the danger zone.
If the going notion for taking the Rockets under is that Harden’s antics will tank the locker room and the season as a distraction, isn’t the same thing in play for the Pacers?
The East got better, if slightly. Their division got better, if slightly. It doesn’t take much for Indy to slip below.
The Pacers had a Pythagorean expectation last season of .562, which is 40 per 72 games. That’s just one win over their highest number. That kind of fall-off is reasonable.
Indiana Pacers Win Total Bet
Love this over. I was ready to take the under and evaluating all factors vs. the number, this is pretty easy.
This feels a lot like the market fading a team because of their public perception. Indiana was 30-12 vs. teams under .500 last season. They’ll take care of business vs. the bad teams. That’s enough for me. Even if they trade Oladipo, I like the over.