NBA Odds & Picks for Rockets vs. Pacers: Back Indiana Against Defenseless Houston
Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Malcolm Brogdon (left) and Victor Oladipo.
- The Houston Rockets hit the road to face the surging Indiana Pacers Wednesday.
- The Pacers have played a number of close games this season, but can they cover the short spread at home tonight?
- Matt Trebby previews the game, including his pick in the matchup.
Rockets vs. Pacers Odds
|Rockets Odds||+2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Pacers Odds||-2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+115 / -140 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||224.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
When the Rockets travel to the Hoosier State to face the Pacers on Wednesday night, it’ll be a matchup of two teams with differing identities.
Houston (3-3) is playing well offensively but struggling to keep opponents from doing the same (sound like anyone you know?), while Indiana is playing great team basketball, ranking highly in most advanced statistical categories.
Given the Rockets’ offensive potential, books are giving them a lot of respect heading into this matchup, although the Pacers were very fortunate to escape New Orleans with an overtime win on Monday night.
Let’s see where the value lies:
There have been a lot of ups and downs for the Rockets this season, starting with their season opener against the Thunder being postponed due to COVID-19 protocol.
The Rockets lost two on the road against Portland and Denver to start the season before a pair of home wins over the Kings. Then, on Monday, they fell victim to a stellar Luka Doncic performance and lost by 13 at home.
Offensively, the Rockets have been led by the pairing of James Harden and Christian Wood. Harden’s Offensive Rating is hovering around its usual spot, currently at 115.0, while Wood’s is 114.2 while he averages 23.6 points and 10 rebounds per game while shooting 55.3% from the field. That number would be higher is he wasn’t hitting just 27.3% of his 4.4 3-point attempts per game.
John Wall has shown signs of his old self, but his Offensive Rating is just 102.2 because of poor 3-point shooting (26.3% on 6.3 attempts per game) and he’s averaging 4.0 turnovers per game.
Defensively, Houston is an absolute mess. Harden (125.7 Defensive Rating) and Wood (118.2) have been massive liabilities on that end, while the team’s toughest defender, P.J. Tucker, isn’t too far behind Harden at 123.7.
The Rockets’ team Defensive Rating of 113.1 entered play on Tuesday ranked 24th in the NBA.
And if you thought Indiana was struggling on the boards, Houston is even worse. The Rockets entered Tuesday ranked 29th in Rebounding Percentage at 46.2%.
Houston, thus far, is playing just like its best player does: without much energy and terribly on the defensive end.
You name the statistic, and the Pacers probably rank toward the top of the NBA in it under first-year head coach Nate Bjorkgren.
According to NBA Advanced Stats, the Pacers entered play on Tuesday ranked seventh in Offensive Rating (112.1) and Defensive Rating (105.7), second in Net Rating (11.2) behind only the Bucks and second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.00).
The only area that Indiana is struggling in this season is on the glass, as it ranked 26th in Rebound Percentage (47.6). That’s a bit of a surprise with the twin towers of Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner down low.
Offensively, the Pacers are being paced by a three-headed monster without forward T.J. Warren (foot surgery). Malcolm Brogdon is averaging 22.0 points and 7.0 assists per game, while Victor Oladipo is looking like his pre-injury self with 20.8 points per contest while shooting 45.5% on 7.3 3-point attempts per game.
The star of the show this season, though, has been All-Star forward Sabonis, who is averaging 20.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists while shooting 56.7% from the field and 52.9% from beyond the arc.
What’s most impressive is that Oladipo is the only of the trio ranked in the top 90 in Usage Rate at 59th. It has truly been a team effort thus far offensively for Indiana.
The Pacers’ strong defense has been anchored by Turner, whose Defensive Rating is at an impressive 98.2 and is averaging a staggering 3.6 blocks per game.
This line opened at Pacers -1.5, which caused me to Google each of Indiana’s top three scorers to make sure they’re all healthy.
Every stat says the Pacers should comfortably win this game, and they had Tuesday off and don’t play again until Saturday. They’re better than the Rockets on both offense and defense and are clearly more disciplined at this point in the season.
Indiana is better than Houston, and it’s not very close. Play the Pacers up to -4.5 in this one.
Pick: Pacers -2.5 (up to -4.5)