Pacers vs. Jazz NBA Odds & Picks: Why Indiana Has Value as a Road Dog (Friday, April 16)
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Domantas Sabonis (left).
- There's matinee basketball to be had with the Pacers and Jazz squaring off on a Friday afternoon.
- No team likes the shoot the 3 more than Utah, but Indiana guards the arc well.
- Matt Trebby thinks the Pacers have the necessary ingredients to keep things close.
Pacers vs. Jazz Odds
|Moneyline||+380 / -510|
|Time||Friday, 3 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Thursday and via PointsBet|
Friday afternoon basketball, just the way we like it, right?
The Pacers and Jazz will meet in Salt Lake City on Friday afternoon. Indiana is hoping to avoid a play-in series, while Utah is looking to get back to the dominant form that saw it become bettors’ favorite NBA team earlier this season.
Let’s dig into the matchup and find where there is betting value on this game:
This season has not gone to plan for the Pacers.
Trading Victor Oladipo to the Rockets in the James Harden deal did not pan out initially when Caris LeVert was out until after the All-Star break. Injuries have also held T.J. Warren out the entire season, which left Indiana short on wings.
Indiana has won four of its last five after losing four of five. In their last five games, the Pacers are second in the NBA with a 119.5 Offensive Rating, according to NBA Advanced Stats, while playing at the league’s fastest pace. Defensively, their 116.2 rating over their last five ranks 22nd in the NBA, but the Pacers have made up for that by scoring at will.
The Pacers are 3-2 against the spread in their last five and have gone over the total in four of those games. It should be noted that Indiana’s four wins have come against the Rockets, Grizzlies, Magic and Timberwolves, and that it failed to cover against a lowly Orlando squad.
Myles Turner has missed all five of those games due to injury, and head coach Nate Bjorken said neither he or Doug McDermott made the trip to Houston. Turner’s absence helps explain the fast pace, with Domantas Sabonis operating as a center more than his usual position next to Turner.
Over their last 10 games, the Jazz are 7-3 straight-up and the best team in the NBA according to Net Rating. Utah’s Offensive Rating is fourth in the league in that span, according to NBA Advanced Stats, while its Defensive Rating is second to only the Lakers.
Utah is playing the same way it has all season: by dominating the glass and shooting a bunch of 3-point shots. The Jazz rank 19th in the NBA in pace over their last 10, which means they’re under control and operating at a high level of efficiency — their effective field goal percentage ranks 10th in the NBA in that span.
Over their last 10 games, the Jazz’s reliance on the 3-point shot has increased. A staggering 50.1% of their shots are from beyond the arc, the most in the NBA over their last 10 games by 4.1% over the Celtics.
While the Pacers have struggled this season on the perimeter, their defense against the 3-point shot has improved over the course of the season. Indiana is allowing 34.9% shooting from beyond the arc over its last 10 games, according to NBA Advanced Stats, while allowing an NBA-low 27.8 attempts from deep in that span. On the season, those numbers are 37.4% shooting on 31.0 attempts per game.
Utah is not the lean, mean cover machine that it was in the middle of the season. The Jazz are 2-3 against the spread in their last five games, and they’ve even gone 2-3 to the over.
While Indiana’s record is poor, its defensive performance against what the Jazz do best (and most) is undeniable. The Pacers defend the perimeter more aggressively than any team in the NBA, making this a bad matchup for Utah.
I’m going to back Indiana to cover here. These early tipoffs are also difficult for teams to get into a rhythm sometimes, which would back the team that doesn’t rely on 3-point shooting.
Pick: Pacers +10 (down to +8.5)