The NBA’s restart continues on August 1st as the Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers both hit the hardwood in Orlando for the first time.
This would normally be a fairly intense matchup, but neither team has home court advantage, and rust could be a factor. Indiana will also be without two viable scorers, as Jeremy Lamb is out for the year, and Victor Oladipo opted not to join the team for the league’s reboot.
Philly was probably walking into this one as the favorite, regardless, but fewer capable bodies only hurts Indiana.
Does that keep bettors on the Sixers, or is there value in betting on the Pacers? Read on for my 76ers vs. Pacers prediction to find out, and be sure to use the best NBA betting sites once you’re ready to place some bets.
76ers vs. Pacers Odds
76ers (-5) -110
Pacers (+5) -110
76ers to Win -210
Pacers to Win +175
Over 210 -110
Under 210 -110
The Sixers are the understandable favorites here, but five points could be a bit too steep. Philly hasn’t been very good against the spread (28-33-4), and it hasn’t changed when they’re favored (20-22-3).
Philadelphia is an impressive 34-11 when favored this year, however, so coming in as the favorite does make plenty of sense. Bettors won’t love the idea of hammering them at their -210 moneyline at Bovada, of course, so you’ll have to gauge if they can win this game by six points.
The Sixers are really bad on the road (10-24 SU, 9-23-2 ATS), and since basically everyone is technically playing road games, that’s something to note. The Pacers are down key scorers, but they’ve been better ATS (34-28-3) as a whole and aren’t awful (9-9-1) against the spread as underdogs.
The early value probably rests somewhere with the Pacers, but the game total also looks appealing. It’s a really low total given the way the NBA operates, but both of these teams do tend to play a bit slower.
What’s the best 76ers vs. Pacers pick? Let’s dive further into this matchup to find out.
Both of these teams play slow compared to the rest of the league, so while they can certainly pop off on offense, this does project more as a grind-it-out game.
Both teams rank inside the top 10 for defensive efficiency, too, so while that total is low, the game style and pace may keep the Under in play.
That may mean we’re in for a somewhat ugly clash, and their previous meetings don’t stray from that logic. Indiana is up 2-1 in the season series, and both of their victories this year saw them hold the Sixers to 95 and 97 points.
Joel Embiid wasn’t on hand for either of those games, though, so take them with a giant grain of salt.
The one game Philly won was a total shootout, with the Sixers prevailing in a 119-116 barn burner. Overall, this series has been relatively split, with the 76ers owning a narrow 4-3 edge over the last seven meetings.
From a pure matchup perspective, this game is pretty right. Joel Embiid coasted to 32 points in the one meeting this year, but Indiana usually does a pretty good job at limiting easy buckets inside.
Both teams have top-11 interior defense and rank inside the top 11 for blocked shots. Philly holds a significant edge in rebounding, while the Pacers defend the perimeter better (6th in the NBA).
Philly has more star power, and either Embiid or Ben Simmons can take over this game at any point. However, the Pacers are well-coached, fairly disciplined, and have solid balance.
Considering the similar styles, the Pacers have a pretty solid chance of staying in this one and keeping it competitive.
Prediction and Pick
The 76ers are finally healthy, and the Pacers are under-manned, so the two easy bets for me here are the Sixers to win (-210) and there’s some confidence in this game playing a bit faster than expected and topping a low total.
I don’t see the need to risk the second wager, though, while Philly at -210 obviously isn’t bringing much back. I love that bet, but I think I prefer to just bank on this being a close game and getting the Pacers to hang tight.
You have some wiggle room here with Indy at +5. They’ve been solid against the spread, while the 76ers have not. Philly’s road issues are also well documented. If there’s any truth to the road issues and ATS numbers, Indiana ATS is a slam dunk.
The Pacers have also played the Sixers extremely well this year. They won two of the three games, and all of the games have been very competitive. Indiana’s defense and slow pace should contribute to this one staying within the desired five points.
Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.
When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.