Hornets vs Pacers NBA Odds, Picks and Predictions May 18

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Updated: May 17, 2021

Domantas Sabonis is averaging 23 points, 14 rebounds, and nearly 11 assists over his last nine games and has had success playing against the Charlotte Hornets this season.

Photo By – USA TODAY Sports

The NBA play-in tournament tips off in the Eastern Conference when the No. 9 Indiana Pacers host the No. 10 Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday.

The Hornets back into the postseason having lost five in a row while going 2-3 versus the NBA betting point spreads. The Pacers, on the other hand, finished the schedule with a win and went 4-3 down the home stretch with a remarkable 6-0-1 ATS mark in those games. These teams met three times in the regular season with Charlotte going 2-1 SU and ATS.

Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for Hornets vs. Pacers on May 18.

Hornets vs Pacers game info

Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Date: Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
TV: TNT

Hornets vs Pacers odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

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Indiana opened as short as -1.5 for this play-in tournament game and was quickly bet up to 3.5-point favorites with money on the home side. The total opened as high as 229.5 and has dipped as low as 228.5, however, most operators are dealing 229 points as the Over/Under. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Hornets at Pacers betting preview

Injuries

Hornets: Cody Martin G (Questionable), Gordon Hayward F (Out).
Pacers: Malcolm Brogdon G (Questionable), Caris LeVert F (Questionable), Aaron Holiday G (Questionable), Edmond Sumner G (Questionable), Jeremy Lamb G (Out), Myles Turner F (Out), T.J. Warren F (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 12-5 in Hornets’ last 17 road games. Find more NBA betting trends for Hornets vs. Pacers.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

You can’t entirely fault the Hornets for their late-season swoon, hosting top teams like Denver and the L.A. Clippers as well as visiting red-hot conference contenders in Washington and New York. That could be one of the reasons why books opened this spread as low as Charlotte +1.5 for Tuesday’s play-in tilt.

However, life on the road hasn’t been overly kind to the Hornets in recent games. Charlotte is 1-6 SU and ATS in its last seven as a visitor and plays its third straight away game on Tuesday. An anemic offense is to blame for those betting losses, with the team averaging only 105 points on less than 43 percent shooting on the road in that span.

Scoring hasn’t been an issue for Indiana — not with the way the Pacers are living up to their nickname. The team turned up the intensity and tempo in the final month and a half of the slate, posting a pace rating of 104.72 since April (fastest in the NBA) while averaging just under 120 points in that frame.

Indiana is still missing some key components, such as rim protector Myles Turner, but has slowly gotten healthy over the past couple of weeks. Center Domantas Sabonis returned at the start of the month and the Pacers are holding out hope that star guard Malcolm Brogdon will be back for the first time since April 29. Brogdon’s potential return bolsters a deep Pacers scoring attack, one that boasted six players with 12 points or more in Sunday’s win over Toronto.

That bevy of scoring options, as well as Indiana’s tempo, will wear down the Hornets over 48 minutes. Charlotte’s recent losing skid has featured plenty of fourth-quarter flops, with the team getting outscored by an average of 25.8-18.2 in the closing 12 minutes of those games. The Bugs were squashed 36-20 in the final frame against Washington on Sunday, leaving Hornets +6.5 bettors to sweat out a 115-110 loss.

PREDICTION: Indiana -3.5 (-110)

Covers NBA betting analysis

Over/Under pick

The Hornets’ best shot of staying in this play-in game is to slash the tires of the speedy Pacers. Charlotte’s tempo is a stark contrast to Indiana’s, especially in the closing two months of the season when the team owned a pace rating of 97.02 since April 1 (third-lowest in the NBA).

The Hornets have had success slowing up faster-paced opposition in recent games, including the season finale versus Washington in which Charlotte was able to hold back the blazing-fast Wizards for three quarters until the levee broke in the fourth. Sunday’s game, as well as recent matchups with up-tempo teams New Orleans and Milwaukee, stayed below the Over/Under total — as did the previous two games versus the Pacers (with their first meeting of the season pushing with the 222-point total on Jan. 27).

Charlotte will look to draw out its offensive possessions, move the ball and make attempts later in the shot clock, while also crashing the glass. The Hornets are among the better offensive rebounding teams in the NBA while the Pacers rank among the worst, meaning plenty of second-chance possessions and continued clock eating from those offensive boards.

PREDICTION: Under 229 (-110)

Player prop pick

Check back later for a player prop pick when full markets are live!

Hornets vs Pacers betting card

  • Indiana -3.5 (-110)
  • Under 229 (-110)

Picks made on 5/17/2021 at 9:58 a.m. ET

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