The NBA play-in tournament will open up with the Charlotte Hornets traveling to play the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, May 18th. The loser of this game will start their offseason, while the winner will play the loser of the Washington Wizards vs. Boston Celtics game for the No. 8 seed in the NBA playoffs.
Below is a look at some of our predictions on a variety of areas ahead of Tuesday night’s game.
Which team will cover the spread: Hornets +3.5 or Pacers -3.5?
Taking a look at the injury report prior to this game will be crucial as Indiana has a number of players listed as questionable, including Aaron Holiday, Caris LeVert, Domantas Sabonis and Edmond Sumner. Even with health issues, the Pacers are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games and should keep that streak going on Tuesday night. Malcolm Brogdon is also being considered a game-time decision.
Hornets vs. Pacers total points: over/under 228.5
The Pacers get plenty of opportunities to score points as they rank second in the league in possessions per game. The over hit in 10 of Indiana’s last 13 games, so let’s continue to ride the over on Tuesday night.
Which team will reach 30 points first: Hornets or Pacers?
Indiana has been outscored in the first quarter in five of their last six games, and the Hornets haven’t been much better, trailing after the first quarter in four of their last five. Let’s go with the team that’s favored, so we’re taking the Pacers.
Which combination of players will have more points and assists? Domantas Sabonis/Caris LeVert or LaMelo Ball/Miles Bridges
Assuming they are both healthy, Domantas Sabonis and Caris LeVert should take this category relatively easily. They both have much higher scoring averages and should have the assists edge as well.
Who will finish with the most points, rebounds and assists? Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert or Terry Rozier
Domantas Sabonis averages the most rebounds and assists of the three players by a fairly significant margin, and he averages 0.1 points fewer than Terry Rozier and 0.4 points less than Caris LeVert. Let’s go with Sabonis.
Which team will make more 3-pointers: Hornets or Pacers?
Both teams are in the middle of the pack compared to the rest of the league at both shooting and defending the three-point line from a percentage standpoint. On average, Charlotte shoots 3.0 more 3-point attempts than Indiana, so let’s give the Hornets the slight edge.
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