Indiana Pacers vs Golden State Warriors


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The Pacers face the Warriors Tuesday night for the second consecutive game in Houston after a day off Monday.

The Pacers will play their second leg of a back-to-back against the Warriors after losing a close game Monday night in Sacramento to the Kings. The Warriors had Monday off and are riding a two-game home win streak after beating the Clippers Friday and the Raptors Sunday.

The Pacers were one-point favorites before playing the Kings, but the line has shifted and the Warriors are now two-point favorites. Find out how to take advantage of this overreaction below.

Indiana’s Optimized Offense

The Pacers lost on Monday in Sacramento as the Kings shot the ball at an unsustainable rate. Per Cleaning The Glass, the Kings shot at the 76th percentile or higher at the rim, in the midrange, and from beyond the three-point line. The Kings got hot at home, and the Pacers need to do a better job of defending the three-point line against the Warriors as Indiana has allowed the second-highest three-point percentage (39.8%) in the NBA. The Pacers are without T.J. Warren (foot) as he remains out indefinitely.

The Pacers have sneakily been one of the best teams in the NBA as they rank in the top ten in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Domantas Sabonis has taken his game to another level as a dark horse MVP candidate after emerging as an All-Star for the first time last season. Nate Bjorkgren has given this offense the gift of spacing in his first year as coach, and Sabonis has thrived with that spacing and recorded a double-double in every game he has played while averaging 5.8 assists.

The Pacers have improved their shooting profile offensively as they went from shooting the 10th most shots at the rim, 29th most threes, and the fourth most midrange attempts to taking the most shots at the rim, 18th most threes, and the 29th most midrange attempts. Optimizing their offense has unleashed Sabonis and allowed Myles Turner to thrive as he has focused on the defensive end and raised his Player Efficiency Rating from 14.87 to 17.91 this season. Turner leads the NBA in blocks per game with 4.0 per game while the player with the second-most blocks per game has just 2.8 per contest.

Warriors’ Shooting Woes

The Warriors need to shoot the ball efficiently from beyond the arc if they hope to win and cover against the Pacers. After ranking in the top three in the NBA in three-point accuracy for 10 consecutive seasons, the Warriors dropped to 29th in that category last season and are 23rd this season. The Warriors are shooting their highest percentage of shot attempts from beyond the three-point line (39.2%) this season despite shooting less accurately than they have recently.

If the Warriors hope to be elite from beyond the arc, they need two of their starters, Draymond Green and Kelly Oubre, to improve their shooting. Per Cleaning The Glass, Draymond Green ranks in the first percentile among bigs in effective field goal percentage and Oubre ranks in the second percentile effective field goal percentage among wings. Green has only played six games, so he has had an extremely small sample size, but he has missed all five of his midrange attempts and is three of 12 from beyond the arc. Oubre has made just seven of 51 threes (14%), which ranks dead last among all wings, per Cleaning The Glass. Defenses don’t have a reason to guard these two beyond the arc, and that has left less spacing for Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, and James Wiseman to operate.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

While the Pacers aren’t as flashy as the Warriors, they are the better team as they rank in the top ten in both offensive and defensive efficiency while the Warriors rank 21st and 20th in each category. The Warriors have the best player in Stephen Curry, but the Pacers have better overall talent (despite the absence of Warren). Sabonis is playing his best basketball, Turner has been a human eraser defensively, Victor Oladipo looks healthy and has found his game again as a great slasher, and Malcolm Brogdon quietly makes winnings plays as he leads the team in scoring (23.5 points per game). Take the Pacers to cover and win outright.

Pacers +2

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Full-Game Total Pick

The Warriors rank second in pace and take a lot of threes even though they haven’t been as accurate as they have been historically. The Pacers should be able to score against a young Warriors team that is still finding out how to play together. Indiana’s weakness is its three-point defense, and the Warriors are capable of going on runs like they did Friday night to erase a double-digit deficit against the Clippers to win by 13. Stephen Curry had his worst shooting night of the season on Sunday as he made just one of 10 threes and went two for 16 from the field. Expect Curry to bounce back and have a great game as the Warriors lose, but the over hits.

Over 228