Washington Wizards (+150) vs.
Indiana Pacers (-170)
Indiana had to play seven games against the eighth seed in the East, however they still are solid NBA Odds favorites in the series odds. The Pacers really looked like the old Indiana from the latter months of 2013 in Game 7 versus the Hawks. If they can sustain that level of unselfish play throughout this series, then they may be one of the best NBA betting values in the playoffs.
However I’m not sold they can accomplish such a feat. They were supposed to take care of the Hawks like that all season, but for some reason for the first six games they were isolating all game and shooting themselves out of the series. Against Washington, if they don’t bring their offense to the game, the Wizards have enough defense to hold the shaky Pacer offense down.
On the flip side, if you thought the Pacers had trouble with Jeff Teague, I can’t wait for you to watch Game 1 of this series. John Wall is going to have George Hill wanting his ankles doubly taped by Game 2, and if you think Marcin Gortat and Nene were just bullying the depleted Bulls, think again. The two big men from Washington are going to be just as much of a mismatch for Indiana as they were for Chicago. Nene is bigger and quicker than David West, while Gortat is about three steps faster than Roy Hibbert.
If you look at this series like the Pacers are just the Bulls 2.0, I think you’ll go along with me in betting the Wizards to come away with a series win. All Washington has to do is steal Game 1 or 2 in Indy, and the paper tiger that is the Pacers will come crumbling down.
Even though the Wizards are slightly overvalued in their series price of +150, there is a reason why they have the best odds of any underdog left in these playoffs. The sportsbooks know the Pacers are not going to matchup well with the Wizards, and some of the same problems that Washington gave Chicago, they will give those to the Bulls’ division rival as wel.
The Sharp Pick
The regular season series was won by Indiana 2-1 both SU and ATS. However the first two games of the series were early in the season in November and January, when the Pacers were dominating and the Wizards were struggling. However the final game of the series, the Wizards went into Indiana and beat the pants of the Pacers. That game was a little more than a month ago, and don’t be surprised if the Wizards come in and punch the Pacers squarely in the mouth.
The Wizards may seem like the more inexperienced team, but individually, this team has some guys with both a ton of playoff experience, and some NBA Championship experience as well. The Pacers have last season and that’s it when it comes to big time playoff experience. I expect John Wall to absolutely eat up the Pacers, and maybe even take that next leap into becoming a super star in this series.My Pick: Wizards +150