The Washington Wizards host an elimination game tonight against the Indiana Pacers after falling 118-100 in Boston Tuesday night. Bradley Beal’s gutsy efforts on a bum wheel were not enough and one has to wonder how his hamstring will respond tonight after 35 minutes of court time in the loss.
Let’s take a closer look at the best wagering markets with our Pacers vs. Wizards betting pick, complete with the best odds, prop predictions, and analysis.
Meanwhile, Indiana was a bell-to-bell home winner over Charlotte on Tuesday and will hope its hot shooting travels to the nation’s capital tonight. The Pacers shot 55% from the field en route to a 144-point outburst against the Hornets, a stark contrast to the 3-for-21 the Wizards put up against the Celtics from beyond the arc.
Will Russell Westbrook have a more Westbrook-like game tonight and will Beal’s hammy hold up under all those compression sleeves enough to move the Wizards on to the Playoffs-proper? Or will Indiana overcome a rash of injuries with more great shooting to steal the No. 8 seed in the East?
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Pacers vs. Wizards Odds
Here are the current odds for Pacers and Wizards at DraftKings Sportsbook:
|Clippers||-3 (-112)||-143||O 216.5 (-112)|
|Mavericks||+3 (-109)||+123||U 216.5 (-109)|
Pacers vs. Wizards Pick
First Half Indiana Pacers Total Points – Under 59.5 (FOXBET -118)
The Pacers played a near-perfect game the other night against a Charlotte team that had already begun to fade down the final stretch of the regular season. As we have seen a million times in sports, it’s nearly impossible to continue or reconstruct that type of performance again in back-to-back games.
We expect a natural regression for Indiana tonight as they lose home court advantage and the crowd support (pathetic as it was on Tuesday) that comes with it. Plus, the Pacers have to travel to a building where they lost twice this season against a team that swept them in three meetings. Oh, and did we mention that the Pacers bled out 143 points per game in those two prior losses at the Capital One Arena earlier this season?
However, we don’t necessarily expect to see the run-and-gun Washington team that scored 132 or more in each game against the Pacers this season right from the gate tonight. I think they will want to ease into the game for the sake of Beal’s hamstring. It will surely take some warming up, and even though Westbrook is at his best when he is collecting rebounds and pushing in transition, the team is likely better served focusing on ensuring the Pacers do not get off to the same hot start that saw them light up Charlotte the other night.
A Regression Is Coming
Does anyone really foresee Indiana being able to make 58 of 105 shots again tonight? Is this a team that is going to post 40 first-quarter points regularly, en route to 69 in the first half?
We are asking them to essentially score 30 or less in each of the first two quarters here. Even in the three wild shootouts against Washington this season, the Pacers only tallied 32, 31, and 28 points in the first quarter. For three games that reached 256, 295, and 256 total points, Indiana only scored 58, 66, and 62 first-half points in those games. We don’t expect a game like that at all tonight and, if we’re right, that first half tally is sure to dip down to where we need it to be to cash this prop.
Despite the high-speed nature of the Pacers team (5th in NBA in pace of play) and their top-10 foul shooting group (79.2%), they surprisingly do not make their living at the foul line, having attempted the fifth least foul shots per game in the league this season. That means less clock-stoppages, which should help shrink the first half a bit, something we think Washington may quietly want here anyway.
Even in the 144-point outburst the other night, Indiana made just 12 free throws.
Before the last Washington meeting in this building on May 8th, the Pacers had played 12 games as road dogs of less than seven points, like tonight.
In those games, they averaged less than 58 points in the first half. In fact, they failed to score more than 60 points before halftime in ten of those 12 games.
We’re going under here.
Pacers vs. Wizards Betting Pick
With a Pacers team sure to regress this evening from the other night’s dream game and a Washington group that struggled from deep all season long and shot just 3-for-21 from three on Tuesday night, expecting both teams in the 120s and higher again here seems foolhardy.
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For the Pacers, in 13 games after scoring 130 or more points in their previous outing, they averaged just 111.4 points per game in regulation in their next games. If they reach just 111 tonight, the Wizards would need around 127 points to push this game over its posted total. Washington, despite having the NBA’s third highest scoring offense, has only reached 127 or more in regulation in a game 15 times (20.5%). In fact, after scoring 103 or less points this season (the Wizards had 100 in Boston Tuesday), they have only topped 120 points twice in 11 subsequent games..
Betting Trends to Know
Our Pick: PACERS-WIZARDS UNDER
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