Pacers vs. Warriors Odds & Picks: Believe in Golden State’s Defense
Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Victor Oladipo
- The Warriors are a short favorite over the Pacers on Tuesday night after opening as an underdog.
- Golden State's defense has been stellar as of late thanks to Draymond Green's return, and Indiana is on the second night of a back-to-back after a dreadful shooting performance on Monday.
- Get our best bet for Warriors vs. Pacers below:
Pacers vs. Warriors Odds
|Pacers Odds||+2 [BET NOW]|
|Warriors Odds||-2 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+110 / -130 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||228 [BET NOW]|
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
The Golden State Warriors are back, ladies and gentlemen. The cover machines ride in hot off a thrilling one-point win over the Raptors on Sunday night, and will have the rest advantage over Indiana, which is playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
Golden State has played lockdown defense of late, but will that continue against the Pacers? Let’s dive into the matchup to see if we can find some value.
Well, that wasn’t pretty. After so much had gone right to start for Indiana, it’s begun to unravel. The Pacers struggled mightily on both ends of the floor on Monday night, particularly the defensive end, in a 127-122 loss to the middling Kings.
In that game, they posted their second-worst Defensive Rating of the season, allowing 121 points per 100 possessions, and failed to make a real dent on offense, shooting 33% from three and mustering just 58 second half points after a solid first half.
This marks the second straight game in which Indiana has failed to cover the spread after covering six of its first eight, and it also revealed just how much this team relies on Domantas Sabonis.
The uber-talented fifth-year forward has seen an average of three more minutes on the floor this season, and has made jumps in the scoring (over three points more per game) and assists departments. It’s one of the biggest reasons why Indiana has jumped out to a 6-4 start.
The Pacers are shooting an unspectacular 36.5% from three this year, which ranks right around the middle of the league, and have relied on Sabonis’s ability to score around the rim when shots aren’t falling from the outside. He’s leading the league in paint touches for the first time, according to NBA.com, and he’s converted them into points at a sparkling 93% clip.
On Monday, when the shots weren’t falling for Indiana, they decided not to feed Sabonis with the game in the balance, but rather hoist 14 threes in the fourth quarter against Sacramento.
Getting back to basics by feeding Sabonis on the block, which has worked well for Indiana, has to be the gameplan going forward to right the ship. The problem? Golden State’s got an awfully intimidating frontcourt defense.
This is all assuming Sabonis plays, too, given this is a back-to-back for the Pacers. With some tired legs bricking shots, the fatigue could actually work to Sabonis’s favor if he does suit up and he could see a hefty amount of work in this game.
Golden State Warriors
Golden State is really beginning to hit its stride. The Dubs have won four of five, Draymond Green has finally worked back to full strength, and the Warriors’ defense has been standing tall.
Golden State is coming off a thrilling 106-105 win over Toronto, a game which they never would have won without the hard work of their stoppers. Stephen Curry had his worst shooting night ever as a pro, hitting just two of 16 shots, and afterwards Steve Kerr made sure to highlight that, you know what, that’s ok — we have our defense.
“This is not the team from three years ago with KD and Klay and all these different offensive weapons,” he said. “This is a more traditional NBA team.”
Though Kerr doesn’t give himself enough credit for his other teams, which sat high in the defensive rankings year after year, he does have a point here about the defense being the driving force between Golden State’s recent success.
The Warriors have allowed just 106.8 points per 100 possessions over their past four games, the 10th-best mark in the league, and they’ve given up just 39.6 points in the paint during that span, the second-best mark in the NBA. That is due in large part to return of Green, who missed the first four games of the year as he recovered from COVID-19 but really began to get normal run back in a Jan. 3 win over Portland.
The Pacers, meanwhile, embarrassingly struggled against the league’s worst defense on Monday night in Sacramento, and could very well be the next victim of Golden State’s renewed emphasis on defending.
The Warriors winning in spite of just two field goals from Curry on Sunday should be a message to the rest of the league. They’ve proven the young core they’ve scrapped together and the system they’ve put in place is good enough to win on its own.
This is a case of two teams moving in different directions at the moment on the surface, but peeling back the layers and looking into the matchup, the Pacers could be in trouble.
The Warriors have put the clamps on their opponents of late, especially in the paint, which is going to pose a big issue for Indiana. Sabonis is the heart of that offense, and its most consistent option when things break down. If Golden State’s swarming post defense takes him away, the Pacers are really going to struggle to score the basketball.
These are somewhat uncharted waters for the Warriors; they’ve been the underdogs in each of their last five games, of which they won four outright, and they failed to cover just once in that span, by three points against the Lakers.
In fact, they’ll be favored for just the third time all season after opening as two-point underdogs here. It’s ironic, of course, given how many years in a row we’ve seen this team as a massive favorite every single night, but it’s still worth a note.
The Dubs have just shown too much defensively here of late to fade them. You’ve got a crop of tired legs coming in off an awful shooting night, and they shouldn’t be able to lean on Sabonis to bail them out like he normally does given how bigs have fared of late against Golden State.
I’m taking the moneyline here after the Warriors moved from +1 to -1, and would play it all the way up to -5.
Pick: Warriors -130