Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets Preview, Prediction, and Picks


The Indiana Pacers travel to the Spectrum Center in North Carolina for a road matchup with the Charlotte Hornets on Friday evening. The Pacers (6-10) have had a rocky start to the year, and are hoping to get on track after a loss to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. The Hornets (9-7) are playing quality basketball and trying to get healthy for a mid-season run. Charlotte opens this game as slight home favorites.

Will the Indiana Pacers cover the spread on the road against the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night?

Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets Betting Lines

At Basketball Insiders, we get all of our game lines and information from the best betting sites. All of the game lines that are featured below are taken from BetUS.

Point Spread: Charlotte Hornets -1
Money Line: CHR +125/ IND -120
Total: Over/Under 215

Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets Injury Report

Rookie SG Chris Durate remains a game-time decision with a shoulder injury for the Pacers. T.J. remains out without a timetable, but will likely be back after the All-Star break.

P.J. Washington (elbow) was hoping to play but will be held back another game. Expect to see the young forward at some point this weekend. 

Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets Preview

Pacers Leaning on Sabonis for Offense

Domantas Sabonis has been playing lights-out inside for the short-handed club. The 5th year Gonzaga product is averaging 18.3 points and 11.3 boards. More impressively, he’s shooting the rock at a blistering 58% clip. Indy has been playing without T.J. Warren, who filled in nicely alongside Domantas over the last two seasons. He’s expected to be out until after the All-Star break, so expect Sabonis to continue getting a ton of usage in the paint. Rookie guard Chris Duarte remains a game-time decision for the Pacers with an ankle injury. Backup SF Isaiah Jackson (knee) is expected to be out until the weekend.

 

The Pacers are averaging a respectable 109.1 points per game, good for 11th in the league. Although they rank top five in field goal percentage, that is because Sabonis has overshadowed the rest of the club’s issues. They started the season hot, but have since lost five of their last seven games. They’ll look to right the ship on the road. 

New-Look Hornets Playing Well

The Hornets are scoring in bunches to start the year, averaging 114.5 points per game on 45% shooting. Miles Bridges has seen a career resurgence in his third season. The Michigan State product is averaging 21.3 points and 7.5 boards through 14 games. Although putting up impressive offensive statistics, Charlotte has been lackluster on the defensive side of the ball, ranking 28th in defensive rating through two weeks. 

They’ve been getting abused on the glass, ranking next to last in rebounding percentage and giving up a league-worst 118 points per game. It’s safe to assume both extremes to average out over the course of the year. The Hornets may continue their offensive success, but they are not nearly this bad defensively. Expect their defensive metrics to trend up as the season continues.

Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets Prediction and Picks

Domantas Sabonis has carried the load for the short-handed Pacers through the early season. The 5th year Gonzaga product is averaging 18.3 points and 11.3 boards. More impressively, he’s shooting the rock at a blistering 58% clip. Indy has been playing without T.J. Warren, who filled in nicely alongside Domantas over the last two seasons. 

They may also be without rookie guard Chris Duarte, who remains a game-time decision. For that reason, it’s hard to trust the Pacers in this spot. They simply don’t have the dogs to compete with an electric Hornets team. Indiana is 3-9 in their last 12 games facing Eastern Conference foes. Take Bridges, Ball, and the Hornets to win this game at home easily. 

 

Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets Totals Pick 

The Hornets are scoring in buckets to start the year, averaging 114.5 points per game on 45% shooting. They are second in the NBA in pace through 15 games. Miles Bridges has seen a career resurgence in his third season. The former college standout is averaging 21.3 points and 7.5 boards through 15 games. 

Although putting up impressive offensive statistics, Charlotte has been lackluster on the defensive side of the ball, ranking 28th in defensive rating through two weeks. The Pacers are known for their defense and should be able to keep Charlotte from going too crazy shooting the ball. The total number has gone under in six of Indiana’s last seven games and in six consecutive road games. Take the under in this gritty Eastern Conference tilt.

 



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