Thursday NBA Betting Odds, Picks and Predictions: Pacers vs. Suns Preview (August 6)
Getty Images. Pictured (L-R): Indiana Pacers forward T.J. Warren, Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker.
- The Pacers are favored over the Suns in Thursday NBA bubble action, with the total at 229.5.
- Phoenix loves to get out in transition, but Indiana is among the best teams at limiting transition offense, so Joe Dellera thinks the X's and O's favor the Pacers here.
- Get his full breakdown and pick for Pacers vs. Suns below.
Pacers vs. Suns Betting Odds
|Pacers odds||-3 [BET NOW]|
|Suns odds||+3 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-171/+145 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||229.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||4 p.m. ET|
The Indiana Pacers just thrashed the Orlando Magic as T.J. Warren continues his scoring barrage in the bubble. However, the rising Phoenix Suns are the biggest surprise in the bubble and look to remain undefeated after a dramatic win against the Clippers on Tuesday.
So, which of these two red-hot teams has the betting edge in Thursday’s matchup?
The bubble version Warren has been unbelievable to watch. In the Pacers’ three bubble games he is averaging 39.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists on 65.3% shooting. I don’t think this is sustainable, but I don’t expect a precipitous drop-off in scoring any time soon, either.
Looking at his numbers, he’s field goal percentage jumped 12 percentage points in the three games, but his usage rate in the bubble has also increased from 20.6% to 25.5%, per Cleaning the Glass. This is likely due to Domantas Sabonis missing time and his 23.7% usage rate.
Warren also takes great shots, per Cleaning the Glass, he ranks in the 90th percentile at his position for eFG% — he does not waste those opportunities. I’ll take a look at his point props but it will probably be too high. If the Pacers are forced to play without Malcolm Brogdon (questionable with a cervical strain), Warren should see even more opportunities.
His play obviously had a positive impact on the Pacers, but the team as a whole is operating very well, they have the second-best Net Rating in the bubble, +8.2. They are maximizing their opportunities shooting the basketball with the third-best eFG% and they give away the second-fewest opportunities with the second-best turnover percentage, 8.9%.
Considering the Pacers were top-10 in the league in both of those categories on the season, I think this is relatively sustainable moving forward.
At the time of this writing, it’s unclear if Kelly Oubre will be cleared to play — he is listed doubtful due to his knee. Aron Baynes is also listed as out.
Devin Booker has been awesome in the Suns’ hot start. He has scored 27, 30, and 35, including a game-winner over Paul George. This has translated to the entire team playing well. The Suns have the fifth-best Net Rating in the bubble.
The Suns will miss Kelly Oubre if he is forced to miss this game. On the season, when Oubre does not play the Suns have a -2.5 Net Rating which is nearly 2 points worse than when he is on the court, per Cleaning the Glass. This could be difficult for the Suns to make up against the Pacers.
Betting Analysis & Pick
One of the keys of this game will be who can control the halfcourt and tempo of this game.
The Suns like to get out in transition and they’re one of the best in the league in terms of points per possession in transition, per Cleaning the Glass. Unfortunately for the Suns, the Pacers are one of the best teams at limiting those scoring opportunities.
If the Pacers can force the Suns to place in the halfcourt on offense and defense, the Pacers have a distinct advantage on with the 10th-most points per 100 halfcourt plays vs. the Suns’ 27th ranked halfcourt defense.
We need to make sure the injuries don’t impact the line too much, but the Pacers should win this game straight up, and I’d expect them to cover -3 even if Brogdon doesn’t play.
The PICK: Pacers -3