Pacers vs. Nets Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bet the Sky-High Total in Brooklyn (October 31)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Indiana Pacers.
Pacers vs. Nets Odds
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The 1-5 Brooklyn Nets are hosting the Indiana Pacers in the second game of a two-game series. The Pacers won outright as big underdogs in the first game behind a 32-point performance from rookie Bennedict Mathurin.
Don't expect much defense in this matchup. The Pacers and Nets are ranked 27th and 30th in Defensive Rating, respectively, per NBA Advanced Stats. It was fireworks on offense in their game on Saturday as they tallied up 241 points.
The total is set at 238 and the Nets are as high as 9-point favorites. Let's dive into this matchup and see if there are any betting angles in this revenge spot for the Nets.
Indiana Pace Depends on Its Big Man
The Pacers look to be a front-runner in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. Their regular season win total was set at 23.5, tied for second-lowest in the league. However, they've started off this season better than expected with a 3-4 record.
Mathurin, the sixth overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, has quickly established himself as one of the best rookies in his class. The Canadian sharpshooter is averaging 21.0 points per game and 43.2% from behind the arc. After his impressive 32-point scoring explosion in the last game, it is fair to expect some regression from a rookie.
The Pacers are 27th in Defensive Rating (118.4) and they play at the league's seventh-fastest Pace (101.9), per NBA Advanced Stats. They handed the keys over to their young star Tyrese Haliburton and he is thriving with a run and gun offense. Haliburton is putting up career numbers averaging 23.4 points and 10 assists per game.
The defense was expectedly awful last game, but the Pacers were on the second night of a back-to-back. I've observed that poor defensive teams suffer more in those situations, as fatigue impacts their defensive effort first. They are well-rested and are now looking forward to a three-day break after this game.
The Pacers' elite shot-blocker Myles Turner missed the last game but is currently not on the injury report for Monday's game. The Pace slows down and Defensive Rating improves with their big man on the court.
Dating back to the beginning of the 2021-22 season, the Pacers are 31-14 to the over without Turner, per the SDQL at Gimme The Dog. On the flip side, they 23-20-1 to the under with him in the lineup. Bottom line, his presence makes a big impact on the total of this matchup.
Nets Problems Extend Beyond the Basketball Court
This will be the first game of a back-to-back set for the Brooklyn Nets, as they are set to host the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night. The Nets are dealing with a number of distractions between their bad early losses and Kyrie Irving stirring up controversy. With these distractions surrounding Irving and the Nets, I don't expect him to be fully engaged.
If Irving is not at his best, then the Nets have a problem. It has been a two-man show in Brooklyn, and Nets are highly dependent on their two superstars, Kevin Durant and Irving. Both averaging over 30 points while only two other players, David Duke Jr. and Nic Claxton, average double-digit scoring. Ben Simmons's confidence in his ability to score has hit rock bottom.
The good news is the Nets welcomed Seth Curry back to the lineup last game. Even though he put up a 0-for-5 dud, once he gets acclimated into the offense, he should be able to provide some scoring help for the team.
Nets games are averaging 235.7 points per game, so there is a reason for these high totals. However, after getting embarrassed in the first game, I think the Nets ramp up their defensive effort, especially against the rookie Mathurin.
After scoring 241 points in their previous matchup on Saturday night and considering the profile of both teams, it is intuitive to lean to the over here.
However, I think otherwise. I think the total it is a touch too high if the Pacers are expecting Turner to return to the lineup. Also, with the controversies surrounding Irving and the Nets, I wouldn't be surprised if they weren't completely engaged.
Also, in a two-game series when the first game went over, the second game has gone 19-8 (70.4%) to the under since beginning of last season, per the SDQL. I see some regression for the Pacers' young players after the scoring outburst in the last game, and I see the Nets increasing their defensive effort.
Under the stipulation that Turner is suiting up, I make this total 235 and I would play the under on this down to 236.
Pick: Under 239 (down to 236, if Turner is in)