Pacers 2019-20 Season Win Total: Will Indiana Surprise Again Without Oladipo?
Photo credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Myles Turner
- Prior to the 2019-20 NBA season, Matt Moore (@HPBasketball) analyzes each team's win total odds.
- Below, Matt provides a case for the over and under + gives his confidence rating for the Indiana Pacers' win total this year.
All odds as of Thursday. Check out PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Indiana Pacers Win Total
The Case for the Over (46.5, PointsBet)
The Pacers have gone over their win total in two of the three years under head coach Nate McMillan, including the past two. Despite an offense that doesn’t accentuate the things that typically translate to success (pace and 3-pointers), the Pacers still finished top-20 last season, even without Victor Oladipo the back half of the year.
They just manage things. Their defense was third in the NBA last season, 12th the year before, and it remains anchored by Defensive Player of the Year candidate Myles Turner.
They lost key players in the offseason, sure, but their additions were all on the offensive end — an area of need.
Indiana added Jeremy Lamb, who is inconsistent but can have nights, and T.J. Warren, who was quietly one of the best spot-up shooters in the league last year after a career without the deep ball.
The Pacers are also an inherently smart team. Free agent addition Malcolm Brogdon joins Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner; that’s a sharp on-court core. Being a talented, smart team that doesn’t make dumb mistakes is enough to get you to 45 wins in the Eastern Conference.
So let’s put them on pace for 45 — just three wins over .500 — before Oladipo gets back. Even if it takes him until February, the Pacers’ schedule is easy until March, which is the only month they have a top-10 strength of schedule.
Oladipo comes back, gives them a boost (even if he struggles individually) and the Pacers slide up to 48 wins in a conservatively-optimistic outcome, hitting the over.
The Case for the Under (47.5, DraftKings)
Oladipo, Oladipo, Oladipo.
This team is without their best player to start the year and for several months. There’s no timeline for his return, and all of the injury information on his ruptured quad is the stuff of nightmares.
He’s supposed to return in December or January. But if he comes back and isn’t right? If he’s not strong enough yet? He’s back out again, and that could be the year. You don’t want to hold an over bet on the Pacers, even with the positive reasons listed above, with the chance that Oladipo doesn’t come back this year — or comes back significantly less than 100 percent — even if it’s remote.
And those missing players? Thaddeus Young, one of the best plus-minus guys in the league who opened things for Turner and Sabonis, who haven’t played together much. Bojan Bogdanovic, who was ineffective in the playoffs but was close to a 50-40-90 shooter before Oladipo’s injury and carried them to the playoffs late. Can Brogdon be that guy?
Speak of the devil, Brogdon comes with a host of foot injury concerns that spook a lot of front office folks. Sabonis took a step backwards last summer. Lamb and Warren came from the Hornets and Suns, respectively: Do you want to trust escapees from those teams to win games?
Their point guard rotation is Brogdon, T.J. McConnell and Aaron Holiday (who I admittedly love and think will be really good). They play in the toughest division in the East and got walloped last year by the Sixers, whom they play four times.
The margin is too close here; they probably don’t win fewer than 43, but they are also definitely not a 50-win team without Oladipo.
- The pick: Under 47.5
- Confidence: 1 out of 10
If you like to take risks with your win totals, the Pacers’ over is fun as hell. There’s good reason to buy in, and the over is paying +100 at some books. But you need to accept the risk with this one. You’re trusting a team with its best player coming off a severe injury, with a coach who’s not at the forefront of modern offenses, with no supporting stars, to hit 47-49 wins.
Fortune favors the bold, but the rational choice is likely to stay away. The Dipo situation is concerning, but the under has little value given the weak schedule and remaining talent.