Golden State Warriors vs. Indiana Pacers Game Preview – February 24, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| February 24, 2021 6:30 am PDT

Both of these teams have almost identical records this season as the Warriors have a win percentage of 0.516, and the Pacers are ever so slightly in front on 0.517. They both occupy playoff spots in their respected Conferences, but it’s very tight, and a defeat for either team could send them into a scrap to qualify for the postseason.

The Pacers have won the last two matches between them, and the most recent game was only last month. The Pacers lacked Pace in the early stages of the game and trailed by nine heading into the second quarter. However, they won the next three-quarters of the game to run out 95-104 winners. Although they have lost their last two games against the Pacers, the Warriors did win on their previous visit to Indiana, and they have done so on three of their previous four trips also.

Although the head-to-head record is close, the Warriors have averaged nine more points per game than the Pacers in their previous ten meetings. This suggests that when they have won, it’s usually been by a large margin. The trend of Indiana starting slowly against the Warriors continues throughout as they have trailed Golden State by an average of ten points at the halftime break.

Here are the game odds, my team analysis, and betting prediction.

Warriors vs. Pacers Match Odds

Warriors +4-110
Pacers -4-110
Warriors To Win+135
Pacers To Win-175
Over 228.5-110
Under 228.5-110

I didn’t quite expect the Pacers to be as clear favorites as they are for this game. The points total looks like it is set high given these teams have a combined average score of 221 over the last ten encounters.

The Warriors don’t have an excellent record as underdogs, having won six and lost 11 of the 17 games they have entered as the outsiders.

Warriors News

The Warriors are barely clinging onto a playoff spot in the Western Conference as they currently find themselves in eighth position. They have lost their last two games, but they haven’t lost three in a row all season long. The defeats were narrow losses against the Magic and the Hornets last time out. However, the loss against the Hornets was a bitter pill to swallow as they lost at the buzzer against them.

They haven’t traveled well and have a record of 5-9 from their 14 games on the road this season. The Warriors have only won one of their previous five away fixtures, and they have only once recorded back-to-back victories on the road.

Here are the latest betting trends for Golden State:

Bet Type Trend
Total Six of their last nine games have gone under the betting total.
ATS Golden State is 2-4 in their previous six games against Indiana.
Total The total has gone under in four of their last five road trips.
ATS The Warriors have only won five of their previous 18 matches in Indiana.
Total Nine of their last 13 games against teams in the East have gone under the points total.
SU They have only lost one of their previous five matches against teams based in the Central Division.
SU Golden State is 7-13 in their last 20 games played in February.

All of the above statistics and trends point to a low-scoring Pacers victory.

The Warriors have a good offense at present that averages 114 points per game. However, their offensive rebounding has let them down this season, and they could have won some of those tight contests recently had they been better in this department.

They work the ball exceptionally well around the court, which has produced the most assists in the NBA this season.

Their defense hasn’t been so good, and again their rebounding has let them down at times. There isn’t any excuse for it as they defend deep and guard the basket very well, and therefore their players should be set up and ready to rebound, but they haven’t reacted quick enough most nights.

They have defended even worse on the road this season, conceding four more points per game on average.

Golden State has had issues with players fouling out this season, and the team has collected the second-highest number of personal fouls in the league. I’m all for playing hard, but they often overstep the mark.

It will come as no surprise to find that Stephen Curry has been the star of the show for the Warriors this season. Even someone who knows zero about basketball will have heard his name mentioned this season. However, he missed the game against the Hornets last time out as he was unwell, and although he is likely to start this game, there will no doubt be question marks as to whether or not he is 100%.

Golden State will miss Thompson and Chriss, who are both out injured for the season. Looney and Wiseman are questionable to return after both missing action recently through injuries.

Pacers News

The Pacers started February off poorly and lost a run of four games which is their worst spell of the season. However, their form has picked up over the past week, and they have gone on to win three of their previous four games. Although I must highlight that all three wins came against sub-standard teams, it took overtime to beat the Timberwolves last time out, a team with the worst record in the league this season. This was the Pacer’s second game in a row that ended in overtime as they lost the previous game to the Bulls.

Indiana has been better on the road than at home this season as they have won seven and lost nine of their 16 home matches. Worryingly they have lost four of their last five games at home, with their only win coming over the Grizzlies.

Here are the latest betting trends for Indiana:

Bet Type Trend
ATS The Pacers have only won two of their previous ten matches.
Total Four of their last six games against teams from the Western Conference have gone over the betting total.
Total The total has gone over in four of their previous five matches against teams based in the Pacific Division.
SU Indiana is 14-6 in their last 20 games played on a Wednesday.
SU The Pacers have only lost one of their last five matches played in Indiana on a Wednesday night.

In contrast to the Warriors stats, these trends point to a high-scoring game. It also highlights how switched on and focused the Pacers are in midweek.

The Pacers have a very similar attack to the Warriors, and they, too, have struggled with their offensive rebounding. However, they have been slightly more accurate at shooting and have a respectable 47% field goal success rate.

They also pass the ball well, and the key to victory could be who controls the game by having the lion’s share of possession. T J. McConnell could be critical in this area as he has made more steals recently than a bank robber. However, he didn’t make one against the Timberwolves last time out, and the Pacers will be hoping that he was having an off night.

Their defense is better than that of the Warriors, but you would have to say again they defend in a similar style to Golden State.

Indiana has blocked well this season and has the third-highest average per game in the league.

The Pacers will be without Warren and LeVert, who are out for the foreseeable future.

Warriors vs. Pacers Betting Pick

Pick
  • Under 228.5 Points
    -110

These teams are so closely matched that they could end up canceling each other out. Neither team is playing their best basketball of the season, and I will go with my gut instinct and pick under the points total. They both rebound the ball poorly in attack, so don’t expect many wayward shots to be turned back in. With both teams very good at using the ball, the emphasis could be on retaining possession which could slow the game down, which will help the selection.

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