Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs continue on Saturday night and we will see Atlanta Hawks travel to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana to take on the Indiana Pacers. The game has a start time of 5:30 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on TNT. Vegas odds have the Pacers listed as 6 point favorites, while the total sits at 185.
Stat Packs: The Atlanta Hawks are the only team in the playoffs that had a losing record during the regular season, but they did catch a break by drawing a struggling Pacers in the first round of the playoffs and now have a shot to move on in this win or go home game 7. Atlanta 16-28 SU on the road this year, but they are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 trips to Indiana. During the regular season, the Atlanta Hawks were rather ordinary on offense, putting up 101.1 ppg, but vs the Indiana defense they have scored just 94.5 ppg on 40.1% shooting so far. In the playoffs Paul Milsap has led the team in scoring at 20.2 ppg, while Jeff Teague (19.8 ppg), Kyle Korver (12.5 ppg) and DaMarre Carroll (10.0 ppg) have also averaged in double figures for the Hawks. The defense has been pretty good vs a poor Indiana offense, allowing the Pacers just 93.7 ppg on 44.6% shooting so far.
The Indiana Pacers came into the playoffs as the number 1 seed in the East, but they certainly haven’t played like it as they find themselves tied at 3-3 to an Atlanta team that is the only team in the playoffs with a losing record. The Pacers have gone a stellar 36-8 SU at home this year, but they are just 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games at home vs a team with a losing record. Just like the regular season, The Pacers are having issues on offense as they have averaged just 93.7 ppg on 44.6% shooting so far. In the playoffs Paul George leads the team in scoring at 22.8 ppg, while Lance Stephenson (14.8 ppg), David West (15.0 ppg) and George Hill (12.7 ppg) have also averaged in double figures for the Pacers. The Pacers really make their stand at the defensive end of the floor, where they ranked 2nd in points allowed during the regular season (92.3 ppg) and 1st in defensive FG% (42%). Against the Hawks so far they have just allowed 94.5 ppg on just 40.1% shooting.
Pick: Yes we will go with the Under in this one. This series has averaged just 188.2 ppg and game 7s tend to be a bit lower scoring than other games. The Pacers have scored just 93.7 ppg in this series and they have allowed just 88.9 ppg at home for the season ppg. The Pacers will need to slow the game down and rely on that defense that showed up in game 6 if they hope to win this one and being at home should help them to to get the pace where they want it. I look for a game in the 170's here.
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