Philadelphia Still Holding Outside Shot At Top Seed
The Philadelphia 76ers go for a third straight win when they take on the Indiana Pacers in an important game for the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Philadelphia is tied for third in the East with the Milwaukee Bucks, sitting a half-game behind the Boston Celtics and 2½ games behind the Miami Heat. Indiana has been out of the playoff hunt for a while and has dropped seven straight, though the last four of those have been by single digits. This seems like an easy game to pick, but make sure you check out our in-depth preview of the game before you make a bet online.
Embiid, 76ers Make Final Push
The Philadelphia 76ers need to be almost perfect to get to the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings, but they also have a secondary goal of just getting consistent before the postseason begins. Philadelphia has won two straight after a three-game losing streak, which followed a three-game winning streak.
Part of that consistency is getting center Joel Embiid as many touches as possible. The NBA MVP candidate is averaging 30.2 points to rank second in the NBA while grabbing 11.6 rebounds to rank sixth, though he isn’t focused on the individual race for the league’s top award.
“If it happens, great,” Embiid said after scoring 44 points in Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. “If it doesn’t, I don’t know what I have to do. I’ll feel like they hate me. I feel like the standard for guys in Philly or for me is different than everyone else.”
Embiid has averaged 31.8 points, 12.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.8 steals over his last nine games, and he’ll be the 76ers’ focal point again in this one.
Also playing a big role will be guard James Harden, who continues to grow more comfortable with his new teammates. Harden is second in the NBA with 10.1 assists per game while also scoring 22.4 points and grabbing 7.9 rebounds per contest. He’s become less of a scorer with the 76ers but can still turn it on when needed.
Pacers Playing Out The String
The Indiana Pacers have next season on their minds, as shown by the team’s current seven-game slide. Leading scorer Malcolm Brogdon (19.1 points, 5.9 assists) hasn’t played since March 18 and is considered questionable for this contest. He likely won’t play again this season.
Guard Buddy Hield has played very well for Indiana since coming to the team in a mid-season deal with the Sacramento Kings. Hield is averaging 18.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.9 assists in 23 games with the Pacers, shooting 36.5% from 3-point range.
Another player who came to Indiana in that deal, guard Tyrese Haliburton, is also getting comfortable with his new team, averaging 17.3 points, 9.8 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. The second-year player was considered the biggest asset acquired in the deal, and he’ll be a building block for the Pacers going forward.
Indiana has found another second-year player that could fit in its future plans in forward, Oshae Brissett. The 23-year-old has seen increased time of late, averaging 31.4 minutes over his last eight games, and he’s delivering, averaging 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds over that span.
76ers vs Pacers Head-to-Head
The Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers have only matched up once this season, and Indiana came out on top in that one at home, winning by five back in November. The two teams will play again in Philadelphia on Saturday.
The Pacers have won two straight and five of the last seven meetings with the 76ers, though Indiana is a completely different team since the last matchup. Philadelphia is looking like one of the top teams in the East right now, which is why the NBA lines have it as a double-digit favorite in this one.
76ers vs Pacers Game Information
- Game: 76ers (48-30) vs Pacers (25-54)
- Location: Gainbridge Fieldhouse
- Day/Time: Tuesday, April 5th, 7:00 p.m. ET
- Live stream: NBA Game Pass
76ers vs Pacers Betting Lines
76ers vs Pacers Prediction
This one could get ugly in a hurry, as the Philadelphia 76ers want to get an easy win to give their starters some rest heading into the last few days of the regular season. The Indiana Pacers have shown some fight in their last few games, but they’ll have trouble keeping up with the 76ers in this one.
When doing your NBA betting, take Philadelphia to win and cover the big number on the road.
Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -12 (-110)