By Skip Charles in Vegas
Washington (34-39 SU, 41-31-1 ATS) was blown out in its first play-in game on Tuesday, but the Wizards have a chance to redeem themselves and earn a postseason berth against the Sixers starting Sunday with a victory over Indiana (35-38, 33-40). Washington is 3-0 SU against the Pacers this year and opened as a 3 1/2-point favorite.
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Washington was favored by at least four points in each of the three meetings this year since March 29, but opened as 3 1/2-point home favorites for the play-in contest. The Wizards were bet down to -3 by this morning while heavy action on the UNDER had dropped the total to 237 at most sportsbooks.
The Pacers might have played their best game of the season in Tuesday’s play-in contest against Charlotte, blitzing the Hornets for 40 first-quarter points on their way to a 144-117 rout. Offensively, Indiana showed a lot of balance with eight different players scoring at least 12 points and no one scoring more than Oshae Brissett’s 23. Center Domantas Sabonis came within one assist of a triple-double despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter, and the Pacers also punished Charlotte from the perimeter by knocking down 16 of their 35 three-point attempts.
Indiana may have been sparked by the return of point guard Malcolm Brogdon, who had 16 points and eight assists in just 21 minutes after missing the Pacers’ previous 10 games with a hamstring injury. Brogdon’s return couldn’t have come at a better time for Indiana, which found out hours before the game that Caris LeVert would be going into COVID-19 health and safety protocol, meaning he’ll be sidelined for up to two weeks. LeVert had scored at least 30 points in four of his previous 11 games.
Don’t expect Indiana’s offense to let up now that the Pacers are headed out on the road. Indiana has gone OVER the total in five of its last six as the visitors and 19 of its last 26. The Pacers have been an even stronger OVER bet when catching points on the highway, clearing the total in 13 of their last 16 as road dogs.