The Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers have already met once this season, with the Hornets mounting a huge second half comeback to win that game. Now, the Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets series will add its second chapter of the 2021-2022 NBA season, as the Pacers look for revenge from the game that served as the tip off to their season. But the Hornets aren’t intent on giving anything away, and will look instead to move to 2-0 at home against the Pacers on the year.
Both teams have shown this season that they are more than capable of playing high-scoring and exciting basketball games. It will be the team that is the most disciplined that will come out ahead in this game, though, as both teams have also shown that they are susceptible to some serious mental lapses at times in the young campaign. It will take a total team effort physically and mentally to pick up the win on Friday night.
Indiana Pacers – Facing A Tough Matchup
The Indiana Pacers have lost the first two games of their road trip, dropping decisions to the struggling Knicks and a Pistons team that is struggling even worse. It has been the offense of the Pacers that has let them down, as they have failed to break 90 points in either of the first two games of their road trip. In this game, they should be able to score more against a Hornets team that is inconsistent on defense, but the Pacers will also have more trouble getting stops than they have throughout this week.
For Indiana, the key to this game is going to be whether or not they are able to slow down the offense of the Charlotte Hornets. LaMelo Ball’s ability to facilitate for the Hornets, and their balanced scoring attack make for a tough assignment, especially when the Pacers put so much of their eggs into the basket of their big men. Charlotte is a team that is designed to punish the big lineups that the Pacers put out there.
Expected Line-Up: Chris Duarte, Malcolm Brogdon, Justin Holiday, Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis
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Charlotte Hornets – Riding A Hot Streak
The Charlotte Hornets come into this game having won four straight games, including three straight on their home floor against quality competition. Charlotte has beaten the Knicks, Warriors and Wizards at home in their last three games, after beating the Memphis Grizzlies on the road. If the Hornets can beat the Pacers for the second time this season at home, the Hornets will remain in the top-five in the Eastern Conference going into the weekend.
For the Hornets to have success against the Pacers, they are going to need to be better defensively than they were in the first meeting. Indiana was able to get whatever it wanted in the first half of that game. And while the Hornets did play better on the defensive end in the second half, that wasn’t exactly a high bar to clear, as the Hornets had given up 75 first half points in that game.
Expected Line-Up: LaMelo Ball, Kelly Oubre, Miles Bridges, Gordon Hayward, Mason Plumlee
Expert Pick #1 – Hornets -2.5 @ -110
The first bet to make in this game is to back the Hornets to cover the 2.5-point spread in this game at -110 odds. The Hornets are a 5-2 team straight up at home this season, and a lot of those wins have come against quality competition over the last few games. Here, the Hornets will continue to roll at home against an inconsistent Pacers team.
Expert Pick #2 – Hornets to Win @ -140
Our second bet for this game is the Hornets to win this game at -140 odds. The Indiana Pacers are one of the worst teams in the NBA at winning games on the road during the 2021-2022 NBA season. Indiana is just 2-8 at home on the season, with only the Atlanta Hawks having a worse road record than the Pacers in the Eastern Conference this year. Charlotte is going to move the Pacers to 2-9 on the season away from Indianapolis.
Expert Pick #3 – Under 215.5 @ -110
One final bet to place on this game is the under 215.5 at -110 odds. Indiana has been pretty good on defense lately, but their offense has been nothing short of abysmal. That isn’t going to change in this game against a Hornets team that isn’t going to take the Pacers lightly after their first matchup on the year.
This game should go the way of a Hornets team that is clearly on the rise in the Eastern Conference, while the Pacers appear to be going nowhere fast. Charlotte will do a much better job in the first half of this game, eliminating the need for them to mount a furious second half comeback.