The 16-10 Indiana Pacers are on a three-game winning streak without All-Star Victor Oladipo and are starting to knock on the door of the East’s elite teams in the standings. Today, they’ll be challenged by the 11-15 Washington Wizards in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis (7 p.m. ET Monday).
Indiana is a deep team and the squad is showing it. The Pacers are now 7-4 with Oladipo on the sidelines, and they’ll look to continue that success here.
Washington has mostly recovered from its terrible start to the year. The Wizards have now gone 9-6 since their 2-9 start, despite the fact that their team chemistry is still terrible. They have dealt with an injury to Dwight Howard and now have John Wall suffering through a minor heel injury.
Which team will continue its solid stretch of play today? We’ll discuss some main points heading into the contest and then give recommendations on your best betting options with our Washington Wizards vs Indiana Pacers predictions and picks.
What is the Situation for John Wall?
John Wall missed one game to attend the birth of his child. Then, on Saturday, the All-Star point guard returned to submit a terrible performance against the hapless Cleveland Cavaliers. Wall called it the worst performance of his career and he was probably right. He had just one point on 0-of-5 shooting in 26 minutes in the loss, while Cavs rookie Collin Sexton lit him up for 29 points and six assists.
Apparently, though, Wall is dealing with bone spurs in his heel, which likely contributed to the performance. He is questionable for today’s game at the moment, but if he does play, will he be closer to himself or more like what we saw on Saturday?
If he is out or severely limited, the Wizards will struggle in this game, even against a Pacers team missing a star of their own. Washington’s depth is just not good enough right now.
Will Multiple Wizard Reserves Be Able to Match Domantas Sabonis’ Production?
The Pacers have arguably the NBA’s favorite for the Sixth Man of the Year award on their bench. Domantas Sabonis is a rapidly improving 22-year-old big man who is putting up 14.3 points, 10 rebounds and 3.2 assists in just 24.9 minutes per game on an insane true-shooting percentage of 68.2.
Washington’s depth, meanwhile, leaves something to be desired, especially with Dwight Howard and potentially John Wall out. The Wizards’ key reserves are Markieff Morris, Kelly Oubre Jr., Jeff Green and Austin Rivers. On paper, that looks like a decent crop of talent, but all four players are terribly inconsistent.
Sabonis has been good in nearly every one of his performances this season. Washington is probably at a slight disadvantage in the starting lineup, so it will need some breakthrough performances from its key reserves.
Will Pacers Make the Wizards Pay for Playing Small?
Without Dwight Howard, Washington is very thin in terms of big men. Thomas Bryant and Ian Mahinmi get most of the minutes at center. Markieff Morris will also play there, but he is definitely better suited to playing at power forward.
Indiana has a nice stable of big men. Myles Turner, Thaddeus Young, Domantas Sabonis and Kyle O’Quinn have a good combination of skill and size.
The Pacers’ size and skill advantage near the basket will be evident if Indiana chooses to feature its big men on offense, and if its big men pound the glass hard.
Our Preview’s Washington Wizards at Indiana Pacers Betting Picks & Predictions Verdict
The Pacers have gotten used to playing without Oladipo and have enough strong players at a variety of positions to perform well without him. The Wizards are heavy on perimeter players and aren’t built to withstand the Dwight Howard injury. They also have little margin for error on John Wall’s status.
Indiana should take care of business relatively easily on its home floor in this contest. So these are the Washington Wizards vs Indiana Pacers predictions for this preview:
- The USA sports betting sites‘ spread in this game places Indiana as a 6-point favorite. I recommend betting on the Pacers -6pts @ -110 with Bovada, Intertops or BetOnline.
- The Pacers are defensive-minded and play a slow pace. The Wizards are more offensive-minded and play a faster pace. I expect the Pacers to dictate the pace at home, and with John Wall ailing, the Wizards probably won’t run in transition as much. Bet on the under 216.5pts @ -110 with Intertops.
Jared is a lifelong sports fan and writer whose specialist subject is NBA. A 2015 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, Jared has been a sought-after freelance sports writer. In addition to his valuable USA Betting contributions, he has also written for other top media outlets.