The NBA playoffs have arrived! Before we get to the series previews, we need to get through this play-in tournament. Here is the Charlotte Hornets vs Indiana Pacers betting preview.

The Hornets and Pacers tip off at 6:30 PM EST on Tuesday night on TNT. Indiana is a -3 favorite, with an over/under set at 229 points.

Here’s what I’m thinking for the first round of the NBA playoffs. Below this blurb are all the ranks for each team that I will discuss. Use this as a resource. I’ve consolidated offensive and defensive ranks (equation at bottom of table), offensive and defensive preferences, and pace of play. I’ve also tacked on recent performance, key injuries, and betting trends.

The hope is that we find overlap between a team strength and another team weakness, or vice versa. This is nothing more than a guide. I’ll be making a few picks at the end, but I hope more than anything that this helps give you a look into how each team matches up.

Let’s get to it. Follow me on Twitter, @griffybets, for all things NBA this postseason. Drop me a line with any feedback or ideas for stats you’d like to see included!

Charlotte HornetsIndiana Pacers
Offense rank: 21

Threes rank: 11

Pts in paint: 20


Defense rank: 21

Perimeter D: 24

Opp. pts in paint: 10


Pace: 21

Offense rank: 9

Threes rank: 18

Pts in paint: 3


Defense rank: 17

Perimeter D: 11

Opp. pts in paint: 30


Pace: 1

Injuries to keep an eye onInjuries to keep an eye on
Gordon Hayward: OutMyles Turner: Out

Caris Levert: Out

Jeremy Lamb: Out

Malcolm Brogdon: Questionable

Last 10 GamesLast 10 Games



ATS recordATS record



O/U recordO/U record




  • Offensive/Defensive ranks calculated by averaging (points per game, EFG% and efficiency)
  • Pace calculated by averaging (field goals attempted per game and possessions per game)
  • Threes/Perimeter defense calculated by averaging (threes made per game and 3P%)

Shoutout to for the above stats. That site has everything you could ever ask for – this is just a taste of the numbers they consolidate for you. Consider perusing the site to dig into areas of the game you’re curious about.

Thoughts on the game

Charlotte Hornets: Should LaMelo Ball be a starter?

Our first play-in game of the week is an interesting case between two strength-on-strength matchups. Both offensive preferences align with the opponent’s defensive strength.

For me, that immediately cancels out any offensive advantage for a prop play.

As a whole, there’s plenty to like about Indiana in this one. On paper, they are a significantly stronger offense, with a slight edge on the defensive end as well.

No team plays a faster brand of basketball than the Pacers, tops in pace and owners of the best over/under mark in the NBA.

As a top-ten offense, they should conceivably have no issues against the Hornets bottom-ten defense.

It should be noted, Charlotte won the season series between these two teams, 2-1. They last played on April 2, with the Hornets winning 114-97.

Stat Leaders for Each Team

If you do want to include some Hornets/Pacers in your DFS lineups or prop picks, the below players are where I’d recommend starting.


  • Terry Rozier: 20.4 ppg, 8.3 threes attempted per game
  • LaMelo Ball: 27.7 PRApg
  • Devonte Graham: 8.7 threes attempted per game


  • Domantas Sabonis: 39.0 PRApg
  • Caris Levert: 20.7 ppg

Favorite Bets

Indiana Pacers: Moving forward without Domantas Sabonis

The Pacers are playing better basketball of late, and I like how they own an edge in all major facets of the game. My pick here is for Indiana to cover the -3 and live to fight another day.

GriffyBets Pick: Indiana -3

Stay tuned for more NBA betting previews throughout the week. We’ll be breaking down each play-in game here on, and producing overall series previews as well.

The series previews will be all-encompassing. Logically, any advantage that would apply for one team should hold pat for the entire series.

Related reading:

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Griffin’s working to find betting value where others may not. With a main focus on the NFL, consider Griffin your go-to resource for matchup breakdowns, including in the trenches and receivers vs. corners. Follow @griffybets on Twitter for more articles and videos. NBA breakdowns will be the primary focus during the NFL offseason.