Sixers vs Pacers: Betting preview, best bets & predictions for Monday’s game
The Philadelphia 76ers are heading to Indianapolis to take on the Pacers, riding high off their 133-130 win over the #1 team in the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks. The win snapped the Bucks’ NBA season-long win-streak of 16 games while giving the Sixers confidence in their team as they move towards the playoffs.
Sixers vs Pacers game info
Who: Philadelphia 76ers (41-22) at Indiana Pacers (29-36)
Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.
When: 7:00 pm EST
Watch: NBC Sports Philadephia, NBA League Pass
Sixers vs Pacers betting info
Spread: Sixers -7 | Pacers +7
Moneyline: Sixers -275 | Pacers | +240
Points total: 232
Eye on the Sixers
Saturday night’s win was more than just a statement. Joel Embiid (31 points, 6 rebounds, and 10 assists) and guard James Harden (38 points, 9 rebounds, and 10 assists) became the first teammates to have over 30 points and 10 assists in a game in 44 years, going back to 1979 when Otis Birdsong and Chris Ford accomplished it.
Embiid has been as dominant as ever this season, currently averaging 33 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists on the year. He might be the most dominant two-way player in the NBA. He should have no problem getting close to 40 points against the Pacers as center Miles Turner won’t be much of a roadblock.
James Harden has stepped up his game and while his scoring is down compared to his MVP seasons, Harden is distributing the ball better than anyone in the league with 10.6 assists per game. His basketball IQ has translated to a huge jump for the Sixers when he’s paired with Embiid and guard Tyrese Maxey.
When Maxey is starting, having Harden on the floor allows him to have the space he needs to get off better shots and Harden will find him along with anyone on the floor, in the best position to score. This may be the best all-round ball that Harden has played in years.
Speaking of Maxey, in the three games since returning to the starting lineup, he’s been playing the best basketball of the season. In the three games since head coach Doc Rivers inserted Maxey back into the starting lineup, Maxey is averaging 27.3 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. The more important part is that Maxey is shooting 60% from the floor and 52.9% on his three-point attempts over those three games. Maxey has greatly improved and has shown that he thrives in the starting lineup.
Eye on the Pacers
The Pacers are returning home on the tail end of back-to-back games, having defeated the Bulls on Sunday night, 125-122. Point Guard Tyrese Haliburton hit the go-ahead three with 2.7 seconds left in the game, giving the Pacers a huge win.
Haliburton is leading the Pacers this season with 20.3 points and 10.2 assists per game. He’s second in assists to James Harden. Paired with center Myles Turner and shooting guard Buddy Hield, the pacers have a quality trio on the floor.
Hield is currently 10th in the league in three-point percentage at 42.5% but he’s third in three-point attempts. He’s shooting very well, as you would expect, and giving the Pacers some spacing on the floor. While Turner is the team’s second-leading scorer at 18.1 points per game while adding a respectable 7.8 rebounds per game.
Shooting guard Benedict Mathurin, the 6th overall pick in last year’s draft and only 20 years old, has played well in his first season in Indiana. While his three-point shooting is low at 31.9%, he’s contributing 16.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. At 6’5″ and 210 lbs, Mathurin is a lengthy and quality defender on the floor, giving the Pacers a little more presence in that area.
While the Pacers are currently 11th in the Eastern Conference, they’ve beaten teams like the Bulls and the Mavericks while hanging tight with the Celtics recently. They can present some matchup issues for the Sixers and have a good team with four players averaging in double digits and three more that are just under 10 points per game.
What to look for
While the Sixers are coming off a huge win the Pacers are coming off one as well. Both teams should be feeling the highs of their win and coming with confidence. What will separate the teams is that the Sixers are just that much better, overall, than the Pacers. It’s why they’re 3rd in the Eastern Conference.
With Maxey in the starting lineup as well as having Embiid and Harden just doing whatever they want, at any time on the court, the Sixers shouldn’t have a hard time taking down the Pacers in what should be one of the easier games on their remaining schedule.
Prediction: Sixers 123 – Pacers 107
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AP Photo/Chris Szagola