After a busy, yet highly successful week for the 76ers, Philadelphia enters play tonight having enjoyed a rare two days off. Five games in seven days did serve Philly well, as it is on the brink of clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers’ magic number sits at one, meaning a win tonight gives them home court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Let’s take a closer look at the top Sixers vs. Pacers game picks and make some predictions for this May 11, 2021 matchup.
It would be almost impossible for the Sixers not to clinch that top spot before the regular season’s end, so it’ll continue to be murky waters in which we must wade as we search for high value betting opportunities in Philadelphia’s remaining regular season games. Some questions to consider:
- Which stars and starters will play?
- Who will sit or have his minutes reduced for rest and recovery?
- How much value does the team put in keeping its winning streak alive and riding the momentum it has gained going into the Playoffs?
Sixers vs. Pacers Odds (May 11, 2021)
Here’s the line for the Sixers and Pacers at DraftKings Sportsbook:
|Hawks||+7 (-108)||+240||O 215.5 (-112)|
|Sixers||-7 (-113)||-295||U 215.5 (-109)|
And here are the current best available odds for the Sixers (may not display on Google AMP pages):
Bets We Like With a Pacers Win
Philadelphia to Win the First Quarter AND Indiana to Win the Game (FanDuel Sportsbook +600)
We have spoken ad nauseam of late about what hot starters the Sixers have been. They have won the first quarter in seven of their last eight games, all game wins, outscoring their opponents by an average 9.5 points in those first quarters.
However, the motivation tonight will be lessened with the top seed imminent, star availability is in question, and the Sixers are on the road where they are just 20-14 on the season, compared to 27-7 at home. With the smallest line the Sixers have spotted anyone during the last nine games, it shouldn’t be too difficult to fathom a scenario in which Philly goes on to lose this one.
The Sixers have played down to bad or shorthanded teams all season long, blowing huge leads often, even during this winning streak (e.g. San Antonio and New Orleans). Indiana’s margin for error to avoid having to win two games to make the true Playoffs is minuscule and they know this is a chance to pick up a game on the Hornets, who host the Nuggets tonight.
Further regarding intensity and urgency, the Pacers possess T.J. McConnell, a former 76er, who is a constant ball of pace and spark for his team. He is seeing 25.5 minutes of court time per game, the second most of his career, and he will ensure Indiana plays with heart, whereas the Sixers may lack some energy tonight.
Philadelphia has already clinched the head-to-head season series via two previous wins, but we should not forget that Indiana ran off three straight against the Sixers to finish their meetings last season, including two wins on this court. They also covered last season’s first meeting in Philly, as well, so they know how to play this team.
With two games at home left against Orlando, the 76ers know it is almost impossible that they end up anything but the East’s top seed. With Indiana having something tangible to gain with a win here, I think that edge in motivation could help them steal this one, even if Philly gets off to their patented fast start.
Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Both Teams to Score 110+ Points (PointsBet -180)
A bit of a steep line here on the surface, but we think it is well worth the outlay. The line in this game (and the posted total, frankly) gives us the feeling this one won’t necessarily be another walkthrough for the Sixers. For Indiana to play with a red hot Philly team, they will have to either outrun and outshoot the Sixers or gain an edge via the opposition missing some key contributors or playing diminished minutes.
Either way, we think the result will be plenty of points for both teams. For the Sixers, when they don’t have their full lineup intact, their defense struggles and the tempo of their game amplifies. During that four-game losing streak a couple of weeks ago when they had so many starters out of the lineup, they allowed 119.8 points per game and topped 110 themselves twice in the losses.
We already know they will be without Matisse Thybulle tonight, one of the league’s best young defenders. With Joel Embiid (questionable), Seth Curry (probable), and Ben Simmons (probable) all showing up on the injured list ahead of tonight, you have to imagine Thybulle may have company in street clothes.
Philly has had extreme difficulty for a couple of seasons now defending teams with guards who can score at the basket and behind the arc. Caris LeVert certainly fits that bill for the Pacers and could run rampant tonight.
Indiana is fifth in the NBA in pace of play and Philadelphia has allowed an average of 111.9 ppg against teams in the top five in pace this season. In those same 12 games, the Sixers averaged 115.8 ppg, topping 110 points nine times.
Philly has topped 110 points in six of their seven games this season with totals posted at 230 or above. Indiana has topped 110 in 17 of the 21 games with totals set at 230 or above this season, including 15 of the last 17. The Pacers have also topped 110 in 10 of their last 11 games and 17 of their last 19 overall.
Since the start of the bubble games last summer, the Sixers and Pacers have played three times, all of which resulted in both teams reaching 110 or more points. There is little reason to think that it won’t happen again in a game oddsmakers expect to be close, yet has a total in the 230s.
Trends to Know
- Indiana has played 14 of its last 17 games over when the total was set at 230 points or higher. They have also played 63.2% of their 38 games against the Eastern Conference over the total.
- These two teams have played three straight head-to-head meetings over the total and with trends like these, I don’t see that changing tonight. Philly has played six of their last eight games against sub .500 teams over the number.
- Indiana has played four straight over as a home dog and 20 of their last 28 games overall over when getting points.
- Indiana has only played eight of its last 29 games under on no rest. In fact, the Pacers have played 10 of 15 games over in the back end of back-to-back games, seeing those 15 games produce an average of 235.5 total points per game.
Sixers vs. Pacers ATS Pick
The Sixers are unlikely to go down without a fight, as they’d love to clinch that top seed tonight. However, I don’t think they will be able to pull away, having struggled against fast-paced teams this season. This feels like a back-and-forth game with lots of easy baskets.
Our Pick: Phi/Ind Over 233.5 (FanDuel SportsBook -112)
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