NBA Picks: Pacers vs. Wizards Game 3

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, May 8, 2014 5:13 PM GMT

After an embarrassing loss to the Wizards in Game 1, the Pacers turned on their defense in Game 2 to tie the series. The NBA Odds have them as underdogs in Game 3, so can they recapture home court on the road with a win Friday?

Hibbert got his powers back…for now
Apparently the Mon-Stars took a break from stealing Roy Hibbert’s powers on Wednesday, because the big man was back to his All Star level. Hibbert dropped 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Pacers, however Indiana only won the game by four points in the end. The Wizards are going to stick around in this series, and on Friday, the NBA Odds have them as -3 ½ favorites at home, with a total of 183. 

We easily cashed the under in Game 2 of this series, as four of the last five times these two have played this season, the total has gone under. However now the sportsbooks have corrected the total down four full points from Game 2, and I think that may be a big overreaction.

We could see another shift in this series, and Game 3 could be a lot like Game 1 for the Wizards especially. At home Washington has played very well during the regular season, and even though they are only 1-1 SU at home in the playoffs, they scored 97 and 98 points respectfully against the Bulls in their first two home playoff games.

With a total of 183, even if the Wizards only score 95 points in this game, the Pacers wouldn’t even have to get above 90 points for the total to go over. This total is way too underfunded for the offensive explosion we could see from Washington now back at home and still riding high.


The Sharp Pick
I am not convinced that the Pacers are fixed after Game 2, just like I wasn’t convinced they were “fixed,” after Game 7 in their first round series. Even though their defense was solid in Game 2, I’m no sold that they can bring it on the road with them into a hostile environment like Washington, DC.

Another reason why the total may have shrunk so much from Games 2 and 3 is the fact that in five regular and postseason matchups between these two this season, the total has gone under in four of them. However the main reason for this is that the teams seem to not have good offensive performances on the same night. However like I mentioned above, all it will take from the Wizards is 95 points for this low total to likely go over.

Dating back to the regular season, the Wizards have now cashed the over in seven of their last nine games, and in five of their seven postseason games. I think we will see another relapse from the Pacers now that they are on the road, and I don’t expect the Indiana defense to string together two straight solid performances.

Washington is going to force the pace of this game, and not let the Pacers dictate what they want to do on offense. Even though I do think Hibbert and the rest of the Pacers’ offense can travel and play faster, it’s their defense I’m worried about. With the lowered total, take the over.

My Pick: OVER 183

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