NBA Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Best Pacers vs. Wizards Play-In Game Bets (Thursday, May 20)
Will Newton/Getty Images. Pictured: Domantas Sabonis #11 of the Indiana Pacers shoots against the Washington Wizards.
- The Eastern Conference playoff bracket has one vacancy that will be decided on Thursday night.
- Our staff of NBA analysts break down where they see betting value on Pacers vs. Wizards.
Thanks to a thriller between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers, it's safe to say the NBA Play-In has lived up to the massive amounts of hype it has received over the past month.
The tournament rolls on Thursday night with a single-elimination matchup between the Indiana Pacers and Washington Wizards for the chance to make the NBA Playoffs and face the No. 1 seed Philadelphia 76ers in the East.
Our NBA crew is looking at this game from two angles and break down their favorite picks below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Indiana Pacers vs. Washington Wizards
Health will continue to be a factor for both teams — Caris LeVert is out for Indiana, and while Malcolm Brogdon should be active once again, he was limited against Charlotte. There's concern on the Wizards side of things as well, with Bradley Beal admitting his hamstring isn't 100% and looking like he was not lying on Tuesday.
That leads me to my pick. While I think the Wizards have been a dangerous team for weeks now, it appears they could be out of gas. Beal looked like he was still hampered by that hamstring injury on Tuesday, and Westbrook didn't look like himself. Furthermore, they've been one of the league's worst rebounding units, and I am inclined to believe in this Indiana frontcourt and Sabonis.
I also don't see Tuesday's win by the Pacers as much of a fluke, considering 3-point shooting has been a consistent theme for them of late. I think after two close losses to Washington, Indiana can at least push for a win here behind a strong showing up front.
Indiana Pacers vs. Washington Wizards
Brandon Anderson: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.That's the mantra driving my bet on this game.
Is it an elimination game? Yep. Is one of these teams headed home for the summer? Yep.
Are Bradley Beal and Malcolm Brogdon healthy and playing? No idea. Will Domantas Sabonis and Russell Westbrook record triple-doubles? Probably.
But regardless of all those little details, one trend remains in our favor, and this might be the last chance we get to play it this season. Myles Turner is still sidelined, and with Turner out, Pacers games have been going over the total like it's going out of style.
Per Killer Sports, the Pacers have played 26 times without Turner now this season. Those games have gone over the total 19 times, hitting the over a whopping 73% of the time. The average total has closed at 232.8 points, but these games are hitting 241.3 on average. These Pacers games aren't just going over — they're obliterating the total, averaging an over by more than 8.5 points per game.
That's just downright silly, and yet, still, the books have not adjusted enough. Tuesday's Pacers game closed with a total of 229 after being bet up, and the Pacers nearly hit the number all on their own. The game ended up going over by 32 points.
That was the fourth straight Indiana game to go over without Turner, and that's 11 overs in the past 14 Turner-less games. That's even better than a 73% hit rate, hitting the over 79% of the time since April 25.
Forget picking a winner. Forget predicting how Russ will shoot and whether Beal or Brogdon go. Just play the same trend that's worked for a month now and take the over. Blinding betting the over on Pacers games has been one of the safest best in sports for a month, and if this is our last shot at it, let's end it in style.