The Charlotte Hornets visit the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday in a win-or-go-home Eastern Conference tilt. The Hornets and Pacers meet in a play-in matchup, with the winner advancing to meet the loser of a game between the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards on Thursday. Both teams are 20-22 against conference opponents this season, though the Pacers have the built-in edge that comes with hosting the game as the No. 9 seed. Myles Turner (toe) and Jeremy Lamb (knee) are out for Indiana, with Gordon Hayward (foot) and Cody Martin (ankle) ruled out for Charlotte.
Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m. ET in Indianapolis. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Pacers as 1.5-point home favorites, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 226 in the latest Hornets vs. Pacers odds. Before you make any Pacers vs. Hornets picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned over $9,100 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up almost $900 on its top-rated picks this season and entered the 2020-21 NBA Playoffs on a stunning 99-66 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Hornets vs. Pacers spread: Pacers -1.5
- Hornets vs. Pacers over-under: 226 points
- Hornets vs. Pacers money line: Pacers -125, Hornets +105
- CHA: The Hornets are 3-3 against the spread in the last six games
- IND: The Pacers are 5-1-1 against the spread in the last seven games
Why the Hornets can cover
The Hornets have the healthier roster in this matchup, even without a key piece in Hayward. Charlotte's offense is keyed by potent backcourt play, headlined by Terry Rozier, and Rozier is enjoying a career-best season in averaging 20.4 points per game with a 57.5 percent true shooting mark. The Hornets are a top-five team in the NBA in assists (26.8 per game) and the Pacers are third-worst in the NBA in allowing 26.1 assists per game to their opponents. Charlotte is also strong on the offensive glass, grabbing almost 28 percent of its missed shots, and the Pacers are the single worst defensive rebounding team in the NBA this season.
On the opposite end, Charlotte creates havoc by forcing a turnover on 14.8 percent of defensive possessions, and the Hornets are a top-10 team in limiting points in the paint (47.2 per game) for their opponents. The Hornets are also excellent at keeping the opposition off the free throw line, yielding only 19.3 attempts per game at the charity stripe.
Why the Pacers can cover
Indiana projects to have the best player on the floor in Domantas Sabonis. While Charlotte has high-end options, Sabonis was an All-Star selection in 2021, and he is averaging 20.3 points, 12.0 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game as the pillar of Indiana's offensive attack. The Pacers are No. 2 in the league in assists, generating 27.4 per game, and much of that stems from having an elite passer at the center position.
Elsewhere, the Pacers should be able to take full advantage of Charlotte's weaknesses, potentially on the defensive end. The Hornets rank dead-last in the NBA in two-point shooting (55.2 percent) and assists allowed (27.1 per game) this season. Charlotte is also quite poor on the defensive glass, allowing opponents to grab 27.8 percent of their own misses. Lastly, the Hornets battle ball security issues on the offensive end, committing a turnover on 14.9 percent of possessions this season.
How to make Pacers vs. Hornets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 239 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Hornets vs. Pacers? And which side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on a roll on NBA picks.