Pacers vs. Spurs NBA Odds & Picks: Both Defenses Should Dominate on Saturday Night (April 3)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images. Pictured: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the San Antonio Spurs.
- Two teams that pride themselves on defense meet on Saturday night when the Pacers host the Spurs.
- Malik Smith breaks down how that translates to value for bettors.
Pacers vs. Spurs Odds
|Moneyline||-180 / -220|
|Time||Saturday, 9 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday and via BetMGM|
The San Antonio Spurs host the Indiana Pacers Saturday in a matchup of two teams that have been struggling since the All-Star break. The Spurs are 6-8 since the break while the Pacers 5-7 over that span and have dropped three in a row.
This will be the first meeting of the season for these two teams after their game in February was postponed. We can also expect health to play a key role in this game with the Pacers feeling the injury bug recently.
So where is the value tonight? Let’s take a look at how these squads matchup and find out.
This season has been so long, that you’d be forgiven if you forgot that the Pacers started the season with Victor Oladipo on their roster. It’s also possible that you forgot they started the season with an 8-4 record.
Maybe the Pacers will look back at the Oladipo trade and see positive or equal value for what they got in return. But since that trade in January, they went from having the eighth-ranked offense (112.9 points per 100 possessions) through the first 12 games of the season to 19th (109.7).
With the struggles the Pacers are experiencing, particularly on offense, the last thing they need is injuries to their best players. Malcolm Brogdon sat out their game against the Hornets on the front end of this back-to-back and is questionable to play Saturday, according to our NBA Insiders tool.
Domantas Sabonis left last night’s game early with an ankle injury and is questionable as well. Sabonis was already playing through injury, according to Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren.
Missing your top two scorers would be a critical blow and Brogdon’s absence loomed large in their matchup on Friday. The Pacers’ offense, which is already middle of the pack (110.5 Offensive Rating) drops by 2.5 points per 100 possessions when he’s off the floor. The Pacers still compete on defense, but can’t throw a rock in the ocean when Brogdon isn’t there.
Caris LeVert should come around eventually — he’s shooting 37% from the floor since returning from surgery earlier this season — but after that, the scoring options are slim.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have been more competitive this season than some would have expected, though it’s foolish to underestimate a team coach by Gregg Popovich.
They mirror the Pacers this season in a few ways. The Spurs also moved on from one of their better players this season, which will likely make them better in the long term. They are also a sound defensive team ranking 10th this season in Defensive Rating (110.3) but 20th in Offensive Rating (109.7).
The bulk of the Spurs’ offense runs through DeMar DeRozan and Dejounte Murray who are first and second on the team in usage, but its clearly not the most efficient — the Spurs rank 24th in Effective Field Goal percentage (51.8%). The Spurs lead the league in mid-range attempts according to NBA Advanced Stats — if you’ve ever watched DeRozan that’s not surprising — and that’s an area the Pacers defend better than most, allowing opponents to shoot just 37.9% in the mid-range.
The Spurs won’t change their approach, which means they’ll be taking a ton of contested shots, something they are familiar with since 40.4% of their attempts have been with a defender within 2-4 feet. This game will come down to tough shot making from DeRozan and Murray and the occasional kick-out for open shooters on the wing.
Between style of play and injuries, this matchups has all the makings of an under and bettors seem to have seized on that by dropping this total from 224.5 at open to as low as 218.5 at some books.
With two of the Pacers’ key players potentially out, that move is warranted and I still think there’s some value on betting the under here. Brogdon is dealing with a hip injury and even if he does come back, I don’t think his impact will push the Pacers enough offensively. The Spurs rank 16th in Pace (99.68) and I think we’ll see them grind the Pacers down methodically over the course of the night.
I like the under at 219.5 here, but I don’t think I would bet it past that number until we know for sure where Sabonis and Brogdon stand.
Pick: Under 219.5