Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets Betting Preview – NBA, January 29, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| January 28, 2021 2:40 pm PDT

These two teams have the opposite records from their 18 games entirely played as the Pacers have won 11 and lost seven, and the Hornets have won seven and lost 11. The Pacers sit third in the Eastern Conference, and a win here could potentially list them above the Bucks up into second. It’s so tightly packed in the middle of the standings that a win for Charlotte could see them jump up four places, so there is plenty of incentive for both teams.

The Pacers have beaten the Hornets in six of the last seven meetings between the two teams. The previous game was just two days ago when the Pacers comfortably beat the Hornets by 106-116. The head to head record has been very close in Charlotte, with each team winning three games from the last six played.

One thing to note is that the Pacers are starting quickly against the Hornets and catching them cold, just as they did on Wednesday night. They are averaging seven more first-half points per game than the Hornets over the last ten meetings between them. The Pacers are also shooting at 50% against the Hornets, so it is no wonder that Charlotte has struggled against them.

Let’s look at the betting trends for each team, and then I will provide my Pacers vs. Hornets betting prediction.

Pacers vs. Hornets Odds

Pacers -4-110
Hornets +4-110
Pacers To Win-175
Hornets To Win+140
Over 220.5-110
Under 220.5-110

The spread looks about right to me; perhaps it’s a point in the Pacers favor. The total points look a couple of points higher than I expected, but you have to say that the bookmakers have just about got this one spot on.

Just as their overall records are precisely the opposite, so is their betting records as favorites/underdogs. The Pacers have won seven and lost five as the betting favorite, and the Hornets have won five and lost seven as the underdogs.

Pacers Analysis

The Pacers have tended to bunch their wins into small groups of twos this season. Their win over the Hornets two nights ago was the fourth time they won back to back games this season. On the first occasion at the start of the season, they went on to win the third game, but on the last two occasions, they have lost the third game, and they will be hoping that trend doesn’t continue.

The Pacers have the best record on the road in the Eastern Conference, having won five of their seven matches. This includes winning three of the last four, with their only defeat coming against the Clippers.

Here are the latest betting trends for Indiana:

  • They have only won two of their previous six games against the spread.
  • The total has gone over in five of their last six matches.
  • Indiana has only lost one of their last seven games against Charlotte when betting on the spread.
  • Like their overall record on the road, they are 5-2 on the road against the spread.
  • Their last six games against the Hornets in Charlotte have all gone over the betting total.
  • The Pacers are 7-3 in their last ten games against teams in the Eastern Conference.
  • They have only won one of their previous six games against the Southeast Division teams when betting against the spread.

The biggest hint above is that their games are going over the betting total recently, as has their recent games against the Hornets.

The Pacers have a good attack that likes to work the ball around the court as close to the basket as possible. They want to take minimal risks and only shoot when the opportunity presents itself. This could be a ploy as their offensive rebounding has been atrocious, so they are perhaps trying to take that out of the game by being as accurate as possible.

However, Power Forward Domantas Sabonis has been the one exception to this as he has rebounded very well this season and has the league’s fourth-highest average per game. He sets the standard and is a shining example to his teammates as he recently played through the pain barrier to post a triple-double over Charlotte on Wednesday.

Their defense isn’t great and needs some work. They sit off teams and defend deep, which often leaves them open to conceding a high number of three-pointers.

This is despite having arguably the best defender in the league in Myles Turner, who is streaks ahead of everyone else when it comes to blocking this season. This guy has been like a brick wall at times this season. So is he the best defender in the league at present? But of course, he can’t do it all alone.

However, they do work hard to get the ball back and average nine steals per game, which is the third-highest in the league.

Warren and LeVert will be missing for the Pacers as they both have long term injuries.

Hornets Analysis

The Hornets have been dreadful as of late and have only picked up one win from their last seven games.

They also have a poor record at the Spectrum Center, as they have only won three of their eight games played there. They have lost the last three in a row by margins of 11, 13, and 10, so the signs are things aren’t about to change anytime soon.

Here are the latest betting trends for Charlotte:

  • Five of their last six games have gone over the betting total.
  • The total has gone under in seven of their previous nine home games.
  • They have only won one of their last six games against teams based in the Eastern Conference.
  • Charlotte is 1-4 against the spread in their previous five games against opponents in the Central Division.
  • The Hornets have only won one of their last five home games played on a Friday when betting against the spread.

The biggest stand out is they haven’t done well against the spread, which is reflected in their big margin defeats as of late.

The Hornets offense is lacking across the board, except for their rebounding, which is average at best. It’s been even worse at home as they average three points less per game than they do on the road.

They pass the ball well and have the highest average number of assists per game in the league. But perhaps they are spending too much time playing nice, attractive basketball, rather than winning games.

However, they do have a good defense, which is a good basis for them to build their season on. They’re not exceptional in many departments, but they work hard and put a shift in, night in, night out. Unlike their offense, their defense has been better at home, which is probably the reason why so many of their home games has gone under the betting total.

Their hard work is highlighted when you see how many steals per game they are making. They currently average just under nine per game, which is the fifth-highest average in the NBA.

Despite all that hard work, they are still rebounding terribly in defense, which, unfortunately, hard work alone can’t fix. If you keep giving your opponent’s opportunities to score, you’re going to pay the price.

The Hornets won’t want to get caught out early against as they did on Wednesday against the fast-starting Pacers, a point that was reiterated by their coach recently.

The Hornets have no absentees for this game.

Pacers vs. Hornets Pick

Pick
  • Pacers -4
    -110

The Hornets are stuck in a rut, and it’s going to take a monumental effort to get them out of it. I certainly don’t see that happening against the Pacers, who seem to have a hold over them recently. The Pacers can get away with their poor offensive rebounding against a team as bad as rebounding in defense as Charlotte, so the game really does play into their hands. I think the Hornets will put so much into starting the game well that they could burn out in the later stages and get picked off by the Pacers.

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