Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#2517 Indiana Pacers vs.
#2518 Houston Rockets
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 9:05pm EDT
Toyota Center, Houston
Written by Nick Raffoul

This article covers a past game!

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The Indiana Pacers will head to the Toyota Center on Wednesday night for a Western Conference battle versus the tanking Houston Rockets.

The Pacers have slipped into ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings with a 25-28 overall record. Indiana currently sits two games back of the Miami Heat for the coveted No. 6 seed in the East. Meanwhile, the Rockets have all but secured one of the league’s worst records and a spot atop the NBA Draft Lottery. According to tankathon.com, at 14-40, the Rockets are three games ahead of the Orlando Magic for the fourth-worst record in the NBA.

Can the Pacers take advantage of the tanking Rockets on the road in Houston on Wednesday night?

Pacers look to continue road success vs. Rockets

Indiana snapped a three-game winning streak on Tuesday evening, falling short at home 126-115 versus the Los Angeles Clippers. Malcolm Brogdon finished with 29 points while Caris LeVert finished with 26 points and six assists for the Pacers in the loss.

Winning in Indiana has been a difficult task for the Pacers, who are now 9-16 at Indiana Bankers Life Fieldhouse this season. Tuesday’s loss puts Indiana’s 31-year streak of posting a winning home record in jeopardy. While Indiana has struggled at home, the Pacers have been tough to beat on the road, where they own a 16-12 record so far this season.

According to dunksandthrees.com, the Pacers have outplayed their 25-28 overall record, sporting a +0.2 adjusted net rating, good for 14th in the NBA. Through 53 games, Indiana ranks in the middle of the pack on both ends of the floor, sitting 16th in adjusted offensive efficiency with a 111.9 rating and 11th defensively with an adjusted 111.7 rating.

Rocket continue tanking, drop third straight game

Houston extended its current slide to three games with a 126-120 loss on the road against the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. All five Rockets’ starters finished in double-figures on the night, led by Christian Wood, who finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds in the loss. Kevin Porter Jr. added 22 points and 14 assists for the Rockets, who trailed by 23 points at halftime before putting together a competitive second half.

Porter has been among the Rockets’ biggest bright spots this season. Since being acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers, the 20-year-old is averaging 15.4 points and 6.6 assists per game. However, Porter has struggled with his shot selection since the deal, shooting just 42.7 percent from the field and a dismal 26.8 percent from beyond the arc on nearly six attempts (5.7) per game.

According to dunksandthrees.com, the Rockets rank 26th in the NBA with an adjusted net rating of -6.4. Houston sports an adjusted offensive rating of 106.9, 27th in the league, and an adjusted defensive rating of 113.3, 24th in the NBA.

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The Pacers have performed well on the road this season but this looks like a letdown spot for them here. Indiana will be opening up a three-game road trip in Houston before traveling to Utah for a matchup against the Western Conference-leading Utah Jazz on Friday. With one of the leagueโ€™s worst records and some room to spare, the Rockets can afford to compete down the stretch of the season without affecting their lottery odds. That bodes well for their chances at home in this game. Take Houston to cover the spread at home against the struggling Pacers on Wednesday night.

Prediction: Houston Rockets +4.5

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These two teams are projected for 232.5 points but that number seems a bit low in this spot. Houston has given up at least 125 points in four of its last five games and the Rockets have been speeding up the pace since the trade deadline. The Rockets now rank fifth in the league in overall pace and 12th in average possession length on offense. Meanwhile, the Pacers come in at No. 7 and No. 5, respectively, in those two categories so far this season. Take this matchup to go over the projected total with confidence on Wednesday night.

Prediction: Over 232.5
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Written By Nick Raffoul , "Nick Raffoul"

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.