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Suns vs. Pacers Odds & Picks: Well-Rested Indy Creating Value on Total

Suns vs. Pacers Odds & Picks: Well-Rested Indy Creating Value on Total article feature image

Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Myles Turner.

  • The well-rested Indiana Pacers host the road-weary Phoenix Suns, who are on the second night of a back-to-back.
  • Despite a matchup between two good defenses, NBA betting analyst Austin Wang likes the over on Saturday.
  • Check out Wang's full preview and betting analysis for Suns-Pacers below.

Suns vs. Pacers Odds

Suns Odds +3 [BET NOW]
Pacers Odds -3 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +130/-150 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 216 [BET NOW]
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via PointsBet, where you can get $250 FREE instantly after signing up AND your bets automatically sync to the Action app.

The Indiana Pacers host the Phoenix Suns in a matchup I consider the biggest attraction on Saturday night’s slate.

Both teams are off to a great start to the season. The Indiana Pacers have responded well to new coach Nate Bjorkgren and have gotten off to a 6-2 start. The Phoenix Suns have carried forward the momentum from going undefeated in the NBA Bubble and are a strong 6-3 in the stacked Western Conference.

The Pacers are coming off two days rest, which is a luxury in this season’s compressed COVID schedule.

Going into Saturday’s games, only 39 games (16.8%) out of the 232 possible scenarios (excluding each team’s first games) have had a team off two or more days rest.  On the other hand, Phoenix is on the second game of a back-to-back on the road. The Suns gave up a third-quarter lead to lose to the Detroit Pistons in overtime in the first leg of the trip.

The rest discrepancy is certainly important, but while most bettors may look to the side, I see value on the total and a potential for a high-scoring game.

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Phoenix Suns

The Suns finished last season off strong, going 8-0 in the bubble. Unfortunately, it was not enough to get them into the play-in spot for the playoffs, but their stable of young talent, led by Devin Booker, impressed the basketball world and gave Phoenix hope for the future.

Add in one of the best point guards of all time, Chris Paul, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success. Under his leadership and direction, the Suns have picked up where they left off last season and and have scored some impressive wins against key Western Conference opponents, such as the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz.

Their success has been driven on the defensive side of the court. Per Advanced Stats, the Suns are No. 3 in Defensive Rating through Thursday’s games (105), compared to No. 17 in Defensive Rating last season (110.8).

Third-year swingman Mikal Bridges has really taken his game to another level and is the second-leading scorer on the team. He is knocking down 3-pointers and playing some insanely good defense. Per Basketball Reference, Bridges leads the Suns in both Offensive and Defensive Win Shares.

The Suns’ Offensive Rating is 10th (112.7) and they rank seventh in Assist-to-Turnover Ratio (1.79) through Friday’s games. They are doing an excellent job distributing the ball and getting all of their players involved, which is evidenced by seven players averaging double figures in scoring.

Booker’s overall numbers have declined since last season, but I think he is still adjusting to Paul’s arrival, and I expect he will have a breakout game soon.

The Suns lost in pitiful fashion Friday evening, giving up a 4-point lead after the third quarter to eventually lose to the Pistons.

Since 2013, teams on the second game of a back-to-back where they lost the first game on the road in overtime have gone 44-25-1 (63.8%) to the over, per the Sports Data Query Language database.

Under that same scenario, teams that lost in overtime after they were leading after the third quarter went 26-9 to the over (74.3%). This is active on the Suns, as I expect they will be steamed after losing in such fashion to an inferior team and increase their offensive output in the following game. In addition, with the fatigue of a back-to-back and overtime game, I expect less effort on the defensive end.

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Indiana Pacers

After getting swept in the first round by the Miami Heat last season, the Indiana Pacers decided to move in a different direction, hiring Bjorkgren, a first-time head coach, to replace Nate McMillan. The Pacers have responded well and they look like a totally new and improved team, despite not making many changes to their roster.

Bjorkgren has handed the keys over to point guard Malcolm Brogdon, who is having a career year. He is a highly efficient point guard that shoots well — 51.8% from the field, 47.2% from 3-point range and boasts a 4.4 assist-to-turnover ratio through eight games.

This is a small sample size, but these are incredible numbers and should he keep this level of play up, he will definitely be in conversation for Most Improved Player.

They’ve recently lost T.J. Warren, but they have continued to succeed. Warren dominated in the NBA Bubble while Domantas Sabonis was injured, but now that Sabonis has returned healthy, the frontcourt became cramped with Warren, Sabonis and Myles Turner.

Per Basketball Reference, the On/Off Court numbers show a 6.8 Net Rating increase while Warren is off the court this season. I believe his absence has allowed the Pacers to bring in some better 3-point shooters like Justin Holiday and Doug McDermott to space the floor and play quicker with three-guard lineups.

Sabonis is also having an impressive season. The most eye-popping stat is that he is averaging 6.4 assists. He is such a versatile player who is able to post up, shoot, draw double-teams and find the open man. By the way, if you are too young to know his father, Arvydas Sabonis, then I suggest you go watch some of his YouTube highlights to see where Domantas gets his court vision from.

The Pacers are quite efficient on offense, ranking third in Effective Field Goal % (56%) and No. 3 in Assist-to-Turnover Ratio (1.94). In their last three games, they’ve had an Assist-to-Turnover Ratio of 2.33, 2.28 and 2.75.

Since 2018, teams off three consecutive games with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.25 or greater are 82-43-2 (65.6%) to the over. I expect the Pacers’ offense to stay hot and put a lot of pressure on the fatigued Suns defense.

Suns-Pacers Pick

It seems counterintuitive to bet the over on a game with two strong defensive teams that features the Suns, the slowest-paced team in the league. However,  I’ve found a strong correlation between above-average assist-to-turnover ratios in recent performances and totals going over.

I anticipate that the hot-shooting Pacers can dictate the pace and continue their offensive output against the road-weary Suns. I also expect the Suns’ offense to bounce back after a disappointing loss in overtime the night before.

I make the fair line on this game 217.5 and I recommend a play on the over (up to 216). I predict the score will be 110-108 Pacers.

Pick: Over 216

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