Indiana Pacers vs. Philadelphia 76ers Pick 3/10/19
Indiana Pacers (42-24 SU, 33-32-1 ATS) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (41-25 SU, 31-35 ATS)
When: Sunday, March 10, 2019 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Point Spread: IND +5.5 / PHI -5.5 (5Dimes)
Total: O/U 221
Last Time Out: Indiana lost to Milwaukee 117-98; Philadelphia lost to Houston 107-91
Scouting the Pacers:
The Pacers enter this game on a one-game losing streak after being blown out by the Bucks this past week. They are now sitting as the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference and hold a one-game advantage over the Philadelphia 76ers. Losing Victor Oladipo for the season has really hurt this team overall, yet they have remained strong and continue to win. Since Oladipo was hurt on January 23rd, the Pacers are 10-9 overall. The Pacers are almost a sure playoff team, however, without their star player, they could easily slip in the standings.
Scouting the 76ers:
The 76ers were also blown out in their last game against the Rockets. Part of the reason was Joel Embiid was held out of this contest due to left knee soreness. They have now lost two games in a row but are still well in the discussion for a top three seed and would overtake the Pacers due to a head to head tiebreaker with a home win tonight.
Head to Head:
The 76ers and Pacers have met a total of three times this season with this game being the season series finale. The 76ers have won two out of three, but Indiana has won six out of the last ten dating back to 2016. The road team is also 4-0 in the previous four meetings and Philadelphia has not won a home game vs. the Pacers since 2017.
Betting Trends to Consider:
An interesting betting trend shows that both teams play extremely well when coming off a loss by at least double digits. More specifically the Pacers are 9-3 straight up and 8-4 against the spread in this category. As for the 76ers, they are 11-1 straight up and 9-3 against the spread after losing by double-digits.
Indiana will Cover if:
They can defend like the second-best team in the league. This is easier said than done, but one of the biggest reasons why the Pacers are the 3rd seed in the East is because of the defense they have played throughout the year. Coming in they are allowing just 103.9 points per game. First of all, the fact that a team allowing 103.9 points per game is second in the NBA is mind-blowing in other ways, but nonetheless, the Pacers have managed to shut teams down all year long. Therefore, stats show that when they allow between 80-100 points, they post a record of 22-3. On the other hand, when they allow 100+ points per game, they are 14-27. Great defense mixed with the second-best shooting percentage in the league (47.8%) and fifth best three-point percentage (37.6%) should propel the Pacers to a bounce-back win.
Philadelphia will Cover if:
They can knock down their three-pointers at or above their season average. Coming into this game, the 76ers are shooting 35.9% from three (good for 8th in the NBA). Most recently they shot 3 of 26 from deep range (11.5%), by far one of their worst shooting performances of the entire season. JJ Redick, a career 41.1% shooter from three, shot 1 of 9 from behind the arc. This put the 76ers in a huge hole early, and without Joel Embiid, they did not have the presence on the low block and therefore failed to shoot their way back into the game. The 76ers will likely be without Embiid once again, so they are going to have to find another way to score against this tough defense. The players to watch for are of course Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, and Tobias Harris. If all three of these guys have a solid shooting and Reddick rebounds from a terrible game, the 76ers will be in a great position to run away with this one.
Matt’s Pick to Cover the Spread:
This game is very tough to predict given that both rosters have talent and both rosters are dealing with significant injuries. MyBookie has this game posted at Philadelphia -5.5 and given that the 76ers have the trio of Simmons, Harris, and Butler, they will run away with this game and will be able to take the season series with the Pacers.