Golden State Warriors vs. Indiana Pacers Preview and Pick

Golden State Warriors (23-16) +1 , 222 at Indiana Pacers (17-22), 7 pm Eastern Wednesday
by Zman of

Two teams headed in opposite directions hook up when the Golden State Warriors visit the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night.

Online Bookies have Indiana posted as point-and-a-half home favorites for Wednesday’s game, with a total of 222. Also, the Pacers are listed at around -120 on various Vegas moneylines, with the Warriors getting +110 as road underdogs.

Golden State has won three games in a row after winning at Minnesota Tuesday 105-98, continuing their recent surge. The Warriors started this season by losing their first six games, but have gone 23-10 since then. Heading into Wednesday’s play, GS sat in third place in the Pacific Division, four games back of the first-place Los Angeles Lakers, and owned the #8 slot in the Western Conference race, just 3 games out of the #5 spot, held by the Phoenix Suns.

Indiana, on the other hand, is on a slide; after going 15-13 through the first two months of this season, the Pacers have gone just 2-9 since then, and just completed a 1-4 road trip, during which they allowed an average of 113 points per game, with a 106-101 loss at Golden State on Sunday. So going into Wednesday’s game, Indiana sits in third place in the Central Division, 12 games back of the first-place Detroit Pistons, and is the #9 team in the East, two games out of the final (#8) playoff spot.

Last January, these two teams pulled off one of the bigger trades of the season when Indiana sent Stephen Jackson, Al Harrington and two other players to Oakland for Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy and Ike Diogu. Since then, Golden State is 45-36 while the Pacers are 32-51. And the Warriors have won both games they’ve played vs. the Pacers since that trade, 113-98 last February and, as mentioned above, 106-101 last Sunday. Indiana led by 17 points in the first half Sunday and by 11 in the third quarter before falling. And the game easily stayed under its total of 225.

Golden State is 18-21 against the spread so far this season, 12-9 straight up and 10-11 vs. the numbers on the road. Meanwhile, Indiana is 19-20 ATS this season, and 8-9 both SU and vs. the numbers at home.

Statistically speaking, this should be a high-scoring affair; GS ranks 2nd in the league in scoring and last in scoring defense, while the Pacers rank 7th in scoring and 27th in scoring defense.

The Warriors rank 14th in the league in point differential at +1.6 per game, and are shooting 45% from the field, 35% from 3-point range and 74% from the free-throw line. Also, Golden State ranks 21st in FG defense at 46% and a dismal 29th in rebounding at -5.2 boards per game.

Indiana, meanwhile, ranks 17th in point differential at -1.6 per game, is shooting 44% from the floor, 36% from long range and 75% from the line, ranks 6th in FG defense at 44% and 20th in rebounding at -.3 per game.

The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at rank the Warriors 12th at 91.9, the Pacers 18th at 88.7. Sagarin’s current home-court advantage figure is 2.7.

On the injury front, Indiana F Jermaine O’Neal and G Jamaal Tinsley are both listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game with sore knees.

The o/u is 18-21 in GS games this season, which are averaging 215 total points, while the totals are 21-18 in Pacers games, which are averaging 208 points.

Zman’s Pick: Take the Pacers -2.