NBA Play-In Tournament Odds: Pacers-Hornets, Celtics-Wizards picks, prediction
On Tuesday night, the Pacers host the Hornets and the Celtics host the Wizards as the NBA Play-In Tournament odds are live at BetRivers.com. Get the latest news here at the Pennsylvania online sports betting BetRivers Sportsbook.
The NBA Playoffs will kick off on Tuesday night, but instead of having a quadruple-header featuring four first-round Game 1s, we get the inaugural NBA Play-In Tournament. The winner of the Washington-Boston nightcap will get the No. 7-seed in the Eastern Conference. The loser will face off with the winner of Charlotte-Indiana for the right to be the No. 8-seed and square off with the 76ers in the first round. BetRivers.com is proud to provide a wide variety of NBA Play-In Tournament odds, props, teasers, and playoff series odds.
Longtime basketball writer Rob Dauster, the co-founder of The Field of 68 Podcast Network is here to break down the NBA Play-In Tournament Odds and preview Pacers-Hornets and Celtics-Wizards.
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#10 CHARLOTTE HORNETS (33-39) at #9 INDIANA PACERS (34-38), 6:40 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Pacers -143 ML, Hornets +120 ML
SPREAD: Pacers -3
Click here for the full list of Pacers-Hornets odds.
These teams enter Tuesday night’s 9-10 matchup headed in opposite directions.
The Hornets lost five straight down the stretch of the season and nine of their final 12 games as they struggled to find a way to fully reincorporate Lamelo Ball into the rotation after his return from a wrist injury. The Pacers, on the other hand, won four of their last seven games while going 6-0-1 against the spread during that stretch. While they’ve been a bit banged up, Domas Sabonis has played the best basketball of his career over the last month — he averaged a triple-double in May — and Malcolm Brogdon seems likely to return to the lineup for the postseason.
Now, for me, the key is going to be the health of the Pacers. We know that Myles Turner and TJ Warren are going to be out, but assuming that Brogdon and Caris LeVert are both healthy, Indiana seems like the better overall team. Combine that with the fact that Charlotte doesn’t really have a body inside to deal with Sabonis, and on paper, backing the Pacers seems like the better play. But as on Noon on Tuesday, the Pacers expect LeVert to miss the play-in game due to health and safety protocols, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Just in: Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert is expected to miss tonight’s Play-In Tournament game vs. the Charlotte Hornets due to health and safety protocols, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 18, 2021
The catch here is that there are all kinds of internal issues that the Pacers are dealing with. Woj reported a couple weeks back that head coach Nate Bjorkgren’s future is “uncertain,” a report that came just days before assistant coach Greg Foster got suspended after nearly getting into a fight with Goga Bitazde. The question becomes whether or not you believe that Indiana wants to play. They have more experience in the playoffs, but does that matter if the locker room is so disjointed that they just want this to be over with? Or, given that the playoffs are here, will that be a rallying point?
The same can be said about Charlotte. Yes, this team is young and hungry and more motivated to get into the Playoffs given that the majority of their key pieces have never been there, but the experienced vet on their roster — Gordon Hayward — will not be available.
I tend to lean Charlotte in this spot. LaMelo Ball does not strike me as the kind of guy that gets overwhelmed by the moment, and given some of the struggles that the Pacers have had at home this season, I think that the Hornets moneyline (+128) is interesting as well.
#8 WASHINGTON WIZARDS (34-38) at BOSTON CELTICS (36-36), 9:10 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Celtics -130 ML, Wizards +108 ML
SPREAD: Celtics -2
Click here for the full list of Celtics-Wizards odds.
These are two franchises heading in opposite directions.
The Celtics lost 10 of their last 15 games. They lost Jaylen Brown for the season. They lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who just managed to pull off one of the most epic tank jobs in the history of American sports. They are a mess.
The Wizards, on the other hand, are the hottest team in the league. I don’t say that lightly, either. They won 15 of their last 20 games, and of the five games they lost, three were by a single point, one was in overtime and one came by four points. Russell Westbrook has been a God. Bradley Beal has been even better.
I know this game is in Boston. I know Beal is banged up, less than 100% due to his hamstring.
And I don’t care.
Give me all the Wizards.