After a disappointing defeat against Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers are now tied with the Sixers at the 3rd spot in the Eastern Conference. Tonight they will host New York Knicks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in hopes to bounce back and reclaim the 3rd spot in the East.
Indiana Pacers come into the next fixture after 5 defeats in their last 7 fixtures, which ultimately saw them falling out of the 3rd spot in the East. Looking at their last 5 matches, Indiana managed to defeat Minnesota Timberwolves (122:115) and Chicago Bulls (105:96), but did not have the same success against Orlando Magic (112:117), Milwaukee Bucks (117:98) and most recently Philadelphia 76ers (106:89). Now that the teams are in the last part of the regular season, each match is important for seeding, and Indiana are well aware of it, however, after disappointing results behind them, they are slowly falling down the leaderboard. While they were not too impressive in their recent fixtures, Indiana will have a great chance to bounce back against the league-worst New York Knicks.
New York Knicks come into the next fixture after 6 consecutive defeats behind them. In the course of those 6 fixtures, Knicks lost to Cleveland Cavaliers (118:125), Los Angeles Clippers (128:107), Sacramento Kings (115:108), Phoenix Suns (107:96), Sacramento Kings in a rematch (94:102) and most recently against Minnesota Timberwolves (103:92) to conclude their 6 games losing streak. As it stands now, New York Knicks are sitting at the bottom of the East with a 13-54 record and a 3-7 record in the last 10. With their poor performances, the Knicks are the perfect team for Indiana to face off against and regain some confidence, which they will need after a 2-5 run in their last 7 fixtures. New York Knicks will remain without Frank Ntilikina, while Mario Hezonja is listed as questionable. On the other side, Indiana Pacers come into this match without Alize Johnson.
After a terrible run, which resulted in Indiana losing their 3rd spot in the East, they need to bounce back tonight, which is why I expect them to start off strong and push the tempo against Knicks early, just to avoid what happened against Philadelphia 76ers, when Pacers lost due to subpar performance in the 2nd half. On the other side, Knicks do not come off as a team that will manage to score a lot of points, however, they have got guards that can be deadly if given a chance. And I do believe Knicks will get their fair share of chances against Indiana. Indiana Pacers are a clear favourite here, but the offered AH line is just too high for us to consider betting on Indiana. Instead, we will look at over/under market, which is much more appealing, taking into consideration I do believe Indiana will try to push for a fast start and the fact that New York Knicks guards won’t have any particularly hard matchup tonight. All in all, the over line is set too low for this fixture, which is why we will predict this match will end with over 208 points.
Prediction: Over 209.5 points
Odds: 2.07 Asianodds