Pacers vs. Rockets Betting Odds
|Pacers odds||+7 [BET NOW]|
|Rockets odds||-7 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+225/-278 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||Not yet posted [BET NOW]|
|Time||4 p.m. ET|
The Pacers look to secure a matchup with the Heat in the first round, while the Rockets can make a run at the 3-seed in the West. But will Indiana be able to keep this game within reach?
Indiana has four players on the injury report at the time of this writing: Victor Oladipo (questionable – ankle), Myles Turner (questionable – neck), Malcolm Brogdon (questionable – neck) and T.J. Warren (out – foot).
Although the Pacers are 4-2 in the bubble, they have not looked as good as their record indicates. Based on expected wins, the Pacers should only have 2.9 wins to go along with their -1.0 Net Rating in the bubble. While T.J. Warren has been incredible, he will be missing this contest and he came crashing down to Earth in the last game against the Miami Heat.
The Rockets have two players on the injury report at the time of this writing: Russell Westbrook (out – quad) and Danuel House (probable – toe). The Rockets are on the back end of a back-to-back, but considering James Harden and Eric Gordon both sat yesterday, this team should feel pretty fresh.
This season, the Rockets played at a 103.97 PACE. However, when Russell Westbrook is off the floor, the offense slows down. He is in the 98th percentile of players in getting out in transition, per Cleaning the Glass. What’s odd, though, is that this is the first time since the 2011-2012 season that Westbrook actually has a negative point differential, -5.4.
Expect James Harden’s usage rate to skyrocket without Westbrook. In his last two games without Westbrook, Harden had 40% and 46.4% usage rates, per Cleaning the Glass.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This is a tough matchup for the Pacers. Besides the injuries that may leave them without almost their entire starting lineup, they simply do not match up well with the Rockets from a gameplan perspective.
The Rockets take too many 3-point shots for the Pacers to keep up. The Rockets take the most, while the Pacers take the second-fewest. The math just does not work out. The Rockets are able to run the score up rapidly and the Pacers just won’t be able to keep it close.
When Harden runs the offense, the Rockets play much slower, as they don’t push the pace. Keep this in mind when looking at the total in this game. Given the Pacers’ injuries, I think this is a game you need to wait on to bet any totals. At the same time, I don’t think the Pacers’ injuries are a reason to stay away from this spread.
The Rockets match up well against the Pacers and already defeated them once this season. The key takeaway from that game (albeit with different personnel on Nov. 15), the Rockets took 13 more 3-point shots and seven more shots than the Pacers overall.
The Rockets are committed to shooting the deep ball, and given the Pacers’ propensity to allow this shot, I’m riding with the Rockets to cover the large spread.