Wizards vs. Pacers NBA Odds & Picks: Target the Total with Fast-Paced Teams in Indiana (Saturday, May 8)
Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Caris LeVert #22 of the Indiana Pacers, Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards.
- The Washington Wizards hit the road to face the reeling Indiana Pacers Saturday night in a huge game for the standings.
- The Wizards are just a half game behind the Pacers in the East and can jump Indy for ninth with a win.
- Kenny Ducey explains why he expects a high-scoring affair in this crucial showdown.
Wizards vs. Pacers Odds
|Moneyline||-160 / +135|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday and via BetMGM.|
The Wizards and Pacers will continue to wind down their respective seasons in two opposite spots on Saturday evening. For Washington, it’s a chance to move one step closer to clinching a playoff spot, while Indiana appears to be headed in the other direction.
There may be some room to capitalize on this matchup given the extreme fast-paced nature in which these teams play and the importance of a win for both sides in the East standings. Let’s take a deeper look into the numbers to find some value in this game.
The Wizards’ blazing fast run into to the playoff conversation has slowed in recent games, following up a 9-1 run with a 4-3 record over the past seven games. Still, Washington boasts a three-game lead over the 11th place Bulls and seems to be sitting pretty with just five games to go.
While the winning has slowed, their play on the court certainly has not. Over the past 10 games, they’ve ranked fourth in Pace, according to NBA.com, coupling that with the second-best offense which has scored 120.6 points per 100 possessions.
Bradley Beal has been indomitable in the scoring department, averaging 31.1 points on 39.1% shooting from behind the arc over that span, while Russell Westbrook has averaged an insane 18.4 points, 13.9 rebounds and 13.8 assists. Together, they have made this Wizards offense nearly unstoppable.
Defensively, there aren’t any updates. This remains a league-average unit, that hasn’t been able to answer some of the league’s toughest asks. Injury-wise, there aren’t any further updates either.
Washington should be at full strength and ready to improve to 20-12-1 against the spread on the road. One thing it has been able to guarantee lately is points, going over the total in seven of the last nine games. That should come as no surprise, though, considering the above numbers.
In a brilliant stroke of irony, no team has played at a faster pace over the past 10 games than the Pacers, who have posted a 106 Pace rating. Unlike the Wizards, though, the Pacers have not been able to do much with those extra possessions.
This team has been middle of the pack on both ends of the floor, which is shocking given the fact that it’s down so many defensive players. Without Myles Turner, this defense has taken a turn for the worst, and as a result Indiana has been an over machine. The over has hit in six in the last seven Pacers games, and there appears to be no end in sight.
Also unlike the Wizards, the injury report for the Pacers is massive. Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring), Jeremy Lamb (knee) and Edmond Sumner (knee) are all listed as questionable for Saturday’s tilt, while JaKarr Sampson has already been ruled out with a concussion.
This could be even more problematic for a Pacers team that has failed to defend, and the loss of Sampson inside will provide Indiana with little depth behind an already banged up frontcourt.
Surprisingly, Brogdon hasn’t made too much of an impact on their efficiency stats when he’s been on the floor, though one number did catch my eye. The Pacers play at a Pace of 105.39 possessions when he’s off the floor, compared to 101.02 with him playing according to NBA.com. If he doesn’t play, or is at all limited, the game will look entirely different.
The books have obviously caught up with both of these teams, with a big total, but I’m just not sure there’s one I can take that is high enough for me.
The uncertainty of Brogdon’s status makes me like this over even more than I did at first, given the fact that the Pacers play so quick without him. Even if he plays, there’s a good chance he’s limited by the hamstring injury.
That’s all just gravy, though. The fact is, these teams are the fastest-paced teams in the league at the moment, and have shown nothing whatsoever on the defensive end.
It could look ugly for the Pacers’ offense at times, but the Wizards might score 130 by themselves here. I’m taking the over and not looking back.
Pick: Over 247.5