In this Cross-Conference match-up, we will see Indiana Pacers hosting Houston Rockets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis.
The home side, Indiana Pacers are enjoying a good start of the season, with a 7-3 record, which puts them at the 3rd spot in the Eastern Conference. Looking at their last 5 matches, they won 4 against Cleveland Cavaliers (107:119), New York Knicks (101:107), Chicago Bulls (105:107) and most recently against Boston Celtics (102:101). On the other side, Indiana lost to Portland Trailblazers (93:103). Pacers are enjoying their good run, with spectacular results, although some of the matched ended really close, most notably their most recent match against Boston Celtics (102:101). But as I said before, a win is a win, if it’s by a point or 10 Points. Their problem, if we can call it that, is their slow pace and defensively minded approach to the games. But as long as they can win games, I and they should not have a problem with it. As a phrase goes; “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”.
The visiting side, Houston Rockets are having a completely different experience to Indiana Pacers. With a poor record of 3-5, they are sitting at the 13th place in Western Conference. Despite that, there is an improvement in their game which we can see from their recent games. Houston Rockets will be coming into this match after 2 straight wins against Brooklyn Nets (111:119) and Chicago Bulls (88:96), which was a nice change of pace after losing 4 games in a row. Houston has improved defensively and their chemistry is getting better, especially after the return of “the Beard” who will be playing with the expected starting 5 for just the 3rd time this season. Will they are able to continue with their winning streak and rise to their former “glory” is something we will have to wait and see, however, they are on a great path of doing so.
Calling out a winner here would be hard, with Houston still finding their rhythm and Pacers winning most of their matches with small margins. Houston is not the same team as they were a season ago. They lack any long-range threat and depth, which is a result of Ariza, Mbah a Moute and Anderson departure. Carmelo Anthony, on the other hand, has performed well in recent games, but his style of play slows down the pace of the Rockets, which results in fewer points being scored. In terms of pace of play, Rockets are ranked bottom 3rd of the league. At this point I must mention, Pacers are ranked last, due to their defensively minded approach to the matches. So when 2 teams which style of play lacks pace and prefer defense over offense meet, there is only 1 thing that can come out of it, and that is fewer points. Yes, we can expect 200 points in this match, even 210 with some luck, but I can’t imagine seeing this match going over that. Bet on the match ending with under 213.5 points.
Prediction: Under 213.50 points
Odds: 1.98 Pinnacle, Matchbook