76ers vs. Pacers NBA Odds & Picks: Philly Has Key Matchup Edges (Monday, March 1)
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: Joel Embiid
- The 76ers are favored over the Pacers on Monday night as Philly looks to continue its winning ways at home.
- Philadelphia does have some key edges down low, assuming Joel Embiid is healthy and plays full minutes.
- Get our best bet on Sixers-Pacers below:
Pacers vs. 76ers Odds
|Moneyline||+148 / -180|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds as of Monday morning and via DraftKings.|
Monday night’s NBA slate will bring together two teams heading in opposite directions in the Sixers and Pacers. Philadelphia has regained its footing of late to take back command of the East, while Indiana not only comes in without a win in three games, but hobbled, having absorbed some significant injuries along the way.
Will these trends continue, or does Indiana have what it takes to snap out of its rut? Let’s examine this matchup closely to see if we can find the answer and some value along the way.
Before I go in on the Pacers’ recent form, let’s cut them some slack. You could find a far-easier trio teams to play in the span of four days than the Warriors, Celtics and Knicks. Those aren’t bad losses, and frankly none of Indiana’s last six — other than the Bulls game — have been. Still, if you consider yourself a contender in the league, you should be able to take at least one, if not two, against New York, Chicago and Golden State.
The Pacers come in dealing with some aforementioned injuries. Their leader Malcolm Brogdon has been out for the past two games due to right knee soreness, and Jeremy Lamb is now questionable after injuring his knee in Saturday’s loss to the Knicks. While Brogdon, at the very least, is trending in the right direction, neither one will have had much recovery time at all, and could very well miss another game.
Brogdon or no Brogdon, the Pacers have had an abysmal 4-10 record against the spread dating back to a Jan. 29 loss to the Hornets. That’s been a continuation of a larger trend this season; Indiana ranks third-to-last in the NBA with a 14-18 ATS record, covering just 43.8% of the time. That said, this has actually been one of the only profitable spots to back the Pacers, seeing as they’ve covered in eight of 15 road games.
Looking at those last 14 games, the thing that stands out the most with the Pacers has to be their offense. They rank in the bottom eight of the league with an efficiency rating of 109.6, shooting just 46.3% from the field. The Pacers are also all the way down in 25th with a poor 48.4% rebounding rate over the span.
Still, there’s hope here. Ignoring the fact that Indiana’s defense has been fine, it’s still shooting a respectable 37.5% from 3. T.J. McConnell has been afforded more minutes than he’s seen in four years, and done an exceptional job spelling Brogdon whenever called upon. He’s coming off a 17-point, 12-assist outing against the Knicks here he played a ridiculous 46 minutes, and should provide the team with plenty should Brogdon miss this one. A
nd, of course, the Pacers will always have a chance as long as Domantas Sabonis is on the floor. He’s averaging career-highs in points (21.4) and assists (5.9) this season, taking the reigns as the go-to guy on offense for the first time.
Though they’ve got a clear edge on paper in this matchup, but so much with the 76ers is up in the air. Like the Pacers, the Sixers are also listing two key players on the injury report; Joel Embiid is questionable to play due to a sprained left ankle, which he played through on Saturday, and Tobias Harris is also questionable with a right knee bruise. The former would presumably be more likely to play than the latter, but considering that player is Joel Embiid, you truly can never be sure.
Philly comes in winners of four games in six, though dating back to early February the team’s covered just three of nine spreads. That’s not surprising considering all the injuries they’ve dealt with, from the two mentioned above to Seth Curry, Shake Milton, Ben Simmons and others, but it makes backing them a bit tough to stomach.
The Pepto-Bismol to that dilemma should be the location of Monday’s contest. The Sixers are 11-6 against the spread at home, the fourth-best mark in the NBA at 64.7%. All in all, this is a great spot for the Sixers to pick up a rare ATS win. Not only do they play much better at home, Indiana’s vulnerable up front with poor rebounding numbers.
Of course, much could change by tip with news still to come for the Pacers and Sixers, but if sides are healthy, Philadelphia should have a hefty advantage. Philly matches up phenomenally against the Pacers.
Philly is a top-five rebounding team this year, grabbing 51.9% of available boards, while Indiana is all the way down in 24th place with a 48.6% mark. Offensively, behind the strength of Embiid and Simmons, the Sixers lead the league in points per game out of the post-up, according to Synergy, and defensively the Pacers allow the fourth-most points (1.02) per post-up in the NBA.
It doesn’t stop there. On defense, the Sixers are allowing a cool 46 points per game in the paint, checking in at 10th in the league, which should put them in great spot to stop Domantas Sabonis, who is seventh in paint touches this season. Should Philadelphia be able to neutralize Sabonis, the Pacers will have a hard time scoring the basketball.
Much of this depends on the pre-game injury report, but given Embiid is active as expected, I love firing up the Sixers -5 here at home. It’s been good to bettors all year, and that should continue. I’d take it to -6.
Pick: Sixers -4.5