Wizards vs. Pacers Predictions, Odds, Preview

May 8, 2021
by Jonathan Willis
NBA Expert

As it stands currently, the Indiana Pacers and Washington Wizards would be the last two teams in the play-in tournament.

The Pacers have a half-game lead over the Wizards in the standings, and those two teams are 3.5 games ahead of the Chicago Bulls.

Both teams would like to catch the Charlotte Hornets to slip into the No. 8 seed, as that would assure them two cracks at making it to the playoffs.

Wizards vs. Pacers Betting Resources

Betting Odds - Wizards vs. Pacers

Line Movements

Subject to Change

  • Spread: Wizards -3.5
  • Money-Line: Washington -160, Indiana +140
  • Total: 247.5

The Pacers are coming off a home underdog victory over the Hawks as Indiana welcomes in Washington on Saturday. (AP)

Wizards vs. Pacers Current Form-Last Game

Indiana has been a mediocre team throughout the season. The Pacers have never been more than four games over .500 and less than five games under .500.

The Pacers are 5-5 over their last ten games, and only one of those victories came against a team that hasn’t been eliminated from playoff contention.

We have seen a team score at least 150 points in two of Indiana’s four games in May. The Pacers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 152-95 on May 1 after scoring at least 40 points in each of the first three quarters. That is a franchise record for Indiana.

However, in their very next game, the Pacers fell to the Wizards, 154-141. Wizards' guard Russell Westbrook made history in one of the highest scoring games of the season, becoming the first NBA player not named Wilt Chamberlain to have at least 20 rebounds and 20 assists in the same game. A total of 17 players scored at least 10 points in the game.

The Pacers scored their most impressive win in over a month with their 133-126 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night. They took a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter as they shot an absurd 62.1% from the floor.

Caris LeVert had a game-high 31 points and 12 assists, while Domantas Sabonis went 12 for 14 with 30 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists.

Washington has been one of the hottest teams in the NBA over the last month. The Wizards looked likely to miss the postseason with a 17-32 record in early April, but they have gone on to win 14 of their last 18 games.

Three of those losses were on the road against Phoenix, Dallas, and Milwaukee, as few teams are playing better than the Wizards.

Their 131-129 overtime win over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night likely secured a play-in spot for the Wizards. Toronto's Pascal Siakam exploded for 44 points, but Westbrook and Bradley Beal carried the day. Westbrook had 17 rebounds and 17 assists in the win.

Wizards vs. Pacers Head-to-Head

  • May 3, 2021 - Wizards 154 vs. Pacers 141, Washington -4.5, Over 245.5
  • Mar. 29, 2021 - Wizards 132 vs. Pacers 124, Washington +7, Over 230.5

(SU-Straight Up, ATS - Against the Spread, OU - Over-Under)

Washington Wizards Betting Outlook

Inside the Stats (2020-2021)

  • Overall: 31-36 SU, 38-28-1 ATS, 34-33 OU
  • Road: 14-19 SU, 20-12-1 ATS, 15-18 OU

It’s been fun to watch the Wizards over the last month. Washington is firing on all cylinders with Beal and Westbrook playing well.

The Wizards might not be long for the playoffs, but they will make things interesting with their ability to make plays on the perimeter.

Beal is currently leading the Eastern Conference in scoring with 31.1 PPG. He is making 48.6% of his field goals, but he has been a league average three-point shooter at 34.9% from beyond the arc. Beal is one of the best players at getting to the line though with 7.6 FTA a game.

Love him or hate him, Westbrook is a difference maker. His shooting numbers have gone down over the years, and he isn’t very efficient from the field, but he is a fierce competitor and does everything else to help his team win.

While Westbrook is making just 44.1% of his field goals and 30.8% of his threes, he is averaging 11.4 RPG and 11.4 APG. Some of that is stat padding to be sure, and he is looking to run down Oscar Robertson as the player with the most career triple-doubles, but his play has helped elevate Washington to another level during this run.

Washington ranks fourth in the NBA in scoring offense (116.3 PPG) and is dead last in scoring defense (118.5 PPG). That has made for some entertaining games as they fly up and down the court with Westbrook making plays.

Indiana Pacers Betting Outlook

Inside the Stats (2020-2021)

  • Overall: 31-35 SU, 27-39 ATS, 40-25-1 OU
  • Home: 12-20 SU, 9-23 ATS, 17-15 OU

Malcolm Brogdon has missed the last week due to a hamstring injury, but he could return for Saturday’s game against the Wizards.

Brogdon is Indiana’s leading scorer this season with 21.2 PPG and his 5.9 APG rank third on the team behind Sabonis and T.J. McConnell. He is also one of the Pacers’ best defenders, and his absence played a big part in Washington’s 154-point performance earlier this week.

Sabonis has had a nice season and is the only Indiana player with a PER above 20. He is averaging 20.3 PPG with 11.8 RPG and 6.3 APG as a poor man’s Nikola Jokic. Sabonis does need to improve his perimeter shooting as he is only making 32.2% of his threes though.

We need to see much better shooting out of LeVert too. LeVert is making just 32.1% of his threes on the season, and he hasn’t been as effective as he was in Brooklyn.

His performance has been better as the season has gone along though, and LeVert has surpassed 30 points in three of his last five games.

This defense has been one of the league’s worst this season. Indiana has the worst interior defense in the NBA, allowing 53.7 PPG, and the Pacers are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league. They are getting outrebounded by 5.6 RPG.

Key Injuries

Washington Wizards

  • PF Rui Hachimura: Illness - Questionable

Indiana Pacers

  • SG Malcolm Brogdon: Hamstring - Questionable
  • PG Edmond Sumner: Knee - Questionable
  • SG Jeremy Lamb: Knee - Questionable
  • PF JaKarr Sampson: Concussion - Out
  • C Myles Turner: Toe - Out

Wizards vs. Pacers Prediction

Given what we have seen out of the Pacers and Wizards recently, the 'over' has to be a strong consideration. The Pacers will have a hard time stopping the Wizards even if Brogdon is on the court, and both teams have shown that they like to run.

Score Prediction: Wizards 127, Pacers 122
Best Bet: Over