The final Eastern conference play-in game is here. The winner of Pacers vs Wizards will be the eighth seed, securing a date with the Sixers in the first round.
The game tips off at 8 PM EST. Washington is favored at -3.5, with an over/under set at 237.5 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!
|Washington Wizards||Indiana Pacers|
|Offense rank: 16
Threes rank: 26
Pts in paint: 5
Defense rank: 22
Perimeter D: 15
Opp. pts in paint: 18
|Offense rank: 9
Threes rank: 18
Pts in paint: 3
Defense rank: 17
Perimeter D: 11
Opp. pts in paint: 30
|Last 10 Games||Last 10 Games|
|ATS record||ATS record|
|O/U record||O/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 TeamRankings.com 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: Pacers vs Wizards
This is a juicy one, no doubt about it. First thing that catches my eye is the pace of play. This is going to be a fast, reckless game with plenty of points near the rim.
The over is an appropriate 237.5. It’s a mammoth number, but appropriate. I’m torn – take the over, hedge with prop totals, or both.
If you’ve read past articles – you know where this is headed. I’m loading up on all the big name guys in this one. The stylistic pace that we expect perfectly suits all of Beal, Westbrook, Sabonis and Brogdon’s playing style.
Remember – Caris Levert, Indiana’s second-leading scorer, is out due to health and safety protocols. I feel for the guy, if he’s not positive I’m a bit confused why he isn’t allowed to play.
I’m far more drawn to the points than a specific team. I’d give a slight edge to the Wizards given the bigger difference between paint numbers, and Washington did sweep the season series.
I’m abstaining from the spread tonight, given the amount of skin in the game already lined up.
Stat Leaders for Each Team
If you want to include some Wizards/Celtics in your DFS lineups or prop picks, the below players are where I’d recommend starting.
- Bradley Beal: 31.3 ppg
- Russell Westbrook: 45.4 PRApg
- Domantas Sabonis: 39.0 PRApg
- Malcolm Brogdon: 21.2 ppg, 45.3% FG%
The pace of play and the advantages each offense has in the paint is a clear green light to attack this game.
I’m loading up on the works – all four of the above players overs, and the over for the game. I think the Wizards win, but I’m not betting on them to cover the 3.5-point spread.
Cheers to points, let’s have a night.
- Beal over points
- Westbrook over points
- Sabonis over points
- Brogdon over points
- OVER 237.5 points
Stay tuned for more NBA betting previews throughout the week. We’ll be breaking down each play-in game here on KnupSports.com, 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.