Pacers vs. Wizards Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via <!–FanDuel–>FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Indiana Pacers come into this contest with just one win in five games and are facing a Wizards team that is off to a relatively hot start to the season.
Can the Pacers keep this close or do the Wizards have too much talent? Let’s break down this Opening Night rematch.
Pacers Need to Play an Uptempo Game
Tyrese Haliburton has been incredible to start the season and has picked up right where he left off whenever Malcolm Brogdon or De’Aaron Fox didn’t eat into his usage. He’s averaging 22.6 points, 10 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game on 50/41.4/92 shooting splits. That is elite efficiency and stats worthy of the Most Improved Player Award.
In addition to Haliburton’s rise, rookie Bennedict Mathurin has been excellent and looks like a multi-level scorer, averaging 20.8 points per game. Those two are the primary reasons this team has been solid offensively while scoring 113.6 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass.
One boost for the team is the return of Myles Turner. Turner is an excellent defensive player and when he’s on the floor the Pacers have been 5.6 and 6.7 points better on defense over the past two seasons. Turner played just 24 minutes in his first game back against Chicago, but his presence and veteran leadership is much needed on the defensive side of the ball.
Additionally, Turner has the ability to stretch the floor and took about 43% of his shots from long range over the past two seasons, draining 33% of them. This should help open up some drive-and-kick opportunities for both Haliburton and Mathurin.
In order for the Pacers to succeed offensively, they need to continue to push the Pace, especially off of rebounds. This is their biggest edge in the matchup. Indiana plays at the seventh-fastest Pace in the league (102.8) and while the Wizards are 23rd in Pace, they are sixth-fastest in Opponent Time of Possession at just 14.0 seconds. The Pacers should look to push the Pace to keep the Wizards off balance on defense.
Will the Wizards’ D Counter Its Underwhelming Offense?
The Wizards are missing two of their rotational players: Corey Kispert and Delon Wright.
The Wizards have been having a bit of difficulty scoring to start the season and are tallying just 111.4 points per 100 possessions, about a point below the league average.
Washington’s saving grace has been its defense, which is sixth-best in points allowed at 106.6 per 100, per Cleaning the Glass. This is a bit skewed considering the Wizards have played the Pacers, Pistons, Cavaliers and the Bulls without Zach LaVine, none of which are great offensively.
When these teams played on Oct. 19, the Wizards dominated the boards and secured 53 rebounds to the Pacers’ 42. Washington also scored a whopping 58 points in the paint.
With the return of Turner (even in a limited role), the Wizards should have a much more difficult time securing those rebounds and capitalizing on points in the paint — two things that should impact their offensive performance.
This is an early season rematch, but the Pacers stand to benefit the most. Myles Turner twisted an ankle and was ruled out just prior to tip in the opener on October 19th. The spread moved from essentially a pick to Wizards -3 on the road — they won by seven.
Now, Turner is back in some capacity, the game moved to Washington and the spread has moved roughly 6.5 points from that initial line. To me, this is an overcorrection.
The Pacers are a bit healthier now and their young talent has gotten to play more games together as they seek chemistry on both sides of the ball. With Haliburton at the helm, I expect the Pacers to keep this close.
I’ll also play his Points + Assists line at 26.5 (play it up to 27.5), a number he’s hit in each game this season.
Pick: Pacers +6.5