NBA Picks: East Has Gotten Stronger Around Pacers - Forget 46 Wins & Bet 'Under'

Indiana Pacers' Mascot

Jason Lake

Sunday, October 2, 2016 8:09 PM UTC

Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016 8:09 PM UTC

They made the playoffs last year, but the Indiana Pacers may have lost enough horsepower to make the UNDER a sharp NBA pick on the 2016-17 regular season win totals.

The Indiana Pacers looked like a pretty good value NBA pick last year. They were getting Paul George back from injury, they signed Monta Ellis and Jordan Hill as free agents, and they drafted Myles Turner. Not a bad haul. Sure enough, the Pacers went 45-37 (41-40-1 ATS), beating their total of 42.5 wins on the NBA odds board.

It's time for the pendulum to swing back. The 2016-17 totals were posted in Vegas last week, and Indiana opened at 43.5 wins; now they're available at 45.5 wins at the different online sportsbooks. But where will the growth come from this time? The Pacers decided not to renew head coach Frank Vogel's contract after losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Toronto Raptors. And this year's crop of newcomers is suspect. The UNDER looks like the right NBA pick for these new-look Pacers.


Stuck in Reverse

Vogel was given the heave-ho after Indiana finished No. 23 in offensive efficiency last year – although it's hard to blame him for George (+4.5 BPM) being so unwilling to play power forward. Too bad; George was a plus-4.4 going into the All-Star break and a plus-0.9 after. New head coach Nate McMillan had some incredibly slow teams in Seattle and Portland, so there's not much reason to believe anything's really changing this year.

Well, the point guard is changing. George Hill (+1.5 BPM) is out, and Jeff Teague (+0.3 BPM with Atlanta) is in, so that represents a likely downgrade for the Pacers. Just to make sure, Aaron Brooks (–3.3 BPM with Chicago) has been brought in as a back-up. Ian Mahinmi (+2.4 BPM) signed with Washington, and Jordan Hill (–0.7 BPM) didn't quite work out, so Al Jefferson (–1.1 BPM with Charlotte) will play center instead. Indiana is a few years late on all these guys. Yes, that goes for Thaddeus Young (+0.1 BPM), too.

How can we not recommend the UNDER in this situation? Turner (–2.3 BPM) is an exciting young player, but he's the only one with any real upside on the Pacers. Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference has only gotten stronger around Indiana. Forget about 46 wins – the Pacers might not even make the playoffs this year.


Free NBA Pick: UNDER 45.5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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