NBA Betting Tips: Pacers to bounce back

 | 8th May | 

3 mins read

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If you were with us yesterday, you'll know that both tips flew in as the Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder both covered the spread comfortably in their respective contests.

My NBA betting tips for Wednesday will focus on just the one play-off encounter - game two of the Eastern Conference match-up between the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks.

NBA Betting Tips - Wednesday, May 8

  • Indiana Pacers +4.5 vs New York Knicks @ 10/11

The second-seeded New York Knicks will look to take a 2-0 lead in this play-off series when they welcome the Indiana Pacers to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.

The Knicks earned a 121-117 win in game one on Monday, after Jalen Brunson became the fourth player in NBA history - along with Michael Jordan, Bernard King and Jerry West - to score at least 40 points in four straight play-off matches.

Brunson, along with Indiana's Tyrese Haliburton were All-Star teammates just a few months ago, but now could be the deciding factors in this series. The former will likely finish in the top-five in the MVP voting, while Haliburton led the league in assists in the regular season.

The Pacers will be encouraged by the 117 points they put up in game one, however, they'll also feel harshly treated as the Knicks seemed to benefit from the majority of the officiating decisions towards the end of the game. The Pacers lost game one against Milwaukee in the previous round, and erupted for 125 points in game two, so I'm expecting a similar response here.

In fact, the Pacers' offense was the highest-scoring in the NBA in the regular season - they were held below 100 points just once in 82 games - and they've carried that title into the postseason. However, one area of vulnerability is that they've struggled at the free throw line so far in the play-offs, shooting around 70 per cent. Indiana also tend to have problems on the defensive end, surrendering an average of 111.7 points so far in the postseason, which is more than any other remaining team.

A similar story could be told for the Knicks' defense, which was excellent earlier in the campaign, but so far in the play-offs, they've allowed more points-per-game (109.4) than they did in the regular season (108.2). 

So what's my thinking heading into tonight's match-up? Indiana will try to set the pace, as they thrive when the game is quick and teams trade buckets, and the Pacers did this to great effect in the regular-season series between the sides - Indiana won 2-1, and outscored the Knicks by an average of 123.3-115.3.

I'm anticipating a tight affair but Indiana's offense is the best in the league for a reason, so I think they'll have enough to at least cover the spread, and perhaps steal game two on the road.

Indiana Pacers +4.5 at 10-11

You can read all our latest NBA Betting Tips at our dedicated Betfred Insights NBA content hub.

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