There’s legitimate doubt as to whether the Indiana Pacers can fend off the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. We’ll know more after Game 2 on Wednesday.
Eastern Conference First Round, Game 2:
Atlanta Hawks @ Indiana Pacers – Wednesday, April 24
Why Atlanta Will Win
No NCAA football betting expert would deny the contention that the Hawks have a very good chance in this contest. When you go over your next sportsbook review, you will see that the Indiana Pacers – without their leading scorer from 2012, Danny Granger – have been a diminished team. The Pacers haven’t been getting blown out with regularity in recent weeks, but they have fallen behind by at least 15 points in the middle sections of games, and they’ve been doing so far more often than they’d like to admit. Indiana fell behind Cleveland by 20 before rallying to beat the Cavaliers earlier this month. Indiana fell behind Brooklyn by almost 20 before creating a one-possession game and ultimately losing by a single-digit point spread. The Pacers are so up-and-down at this point that it’s hard to know what to expect from them at the offensive end of the floor. Rhythm, confidence, consistency – these and other desirable qualities are not in evidence for Indiana as the playoffs arrives. This is a team waiting to get picked off.
Why Indiana Will Win
When people pursue a sports betting play, they have to look at the whole picture in a given matchup and not get sucked into certain trends that might not mean anything when a game begins. Even football betting gurus who possess minimal knowledge of professional basketball could tell you that while the Pacers are injured and have not been a model of consistency over the past two months, they should still be able to get the job done here. Indiana might have its fair share of weaknesses, but by comparison, the Atlanta Hawks have worse and more persistent problems. The Hawks simply cannot make a deep run in the playoffs. Indiana, despite being a younger team, did more in the 2012 postseason than Atlanta, a team that has been around the block a few times and is no stranger to the springtime spotlight. Josh Smith is a prodigiously talented athlete with a low basketball IQ. He does not perform in ways that maximize the fullness of his physical capacities. The Hawks simply can’t find consistency at the offensive end of the floor because they don’t make good decisions. They have the talent to beat the Pacers, but do they have the will and the necessary level of concentration? It’s doubtful. Indiana makes sense as the selection in Game 2.
Who Will Win?
This figures to be a close game, but the Pacers’ defense can – and should – get more key stops in the fourth quarter than the notoriously unreliable Hawks. Indiana won’t score a lot, but Atlanta will score even fewer points.
Click here to get more information on the latest basketball betting odds.
NBA Betting Pick: Indiana