Pacers vs. Knicks: Betting Picks and Prediction for Game 1

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
Pacers vs. Knicks: Betting Picks and Prediction for Game 1

The Indiana Pacers visit Madison Square Garden tonight for Game 1 of their series with the New York Knicks.

Last round, Indiana bested the Milwaukee Bucks while New York took down the Philadelphia 76ers.

Headed into tonight's opener, the Knicks have -265 odds to win the series. The Pacers are +210 underdogs.

New York has +320 odds to win the Eastern Conference (second-best) and +1000 odds to win the NBA Championship (sixth-best). Indiana is +1200 to win the East and +4600 to win the title.

Let's dive into the odds and break down the matchup for Pacers-Knicks Game 1.

All NBA odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook and may change after this article is published.

NBA Playoffs Betting

Pacers-Knicks Betting Odds

Date and Time: May 6th at 7:30 p.m. ET

Spread: Knicks -5.5 (-112)

Total: 217.5


  • Pacers: +190
  • Knicks: -230

Pacers vs. Knicks Advanced Stats Breakdown

nERD via numberFire. Adjusted offensive/defensive ratings and pace via DunksAndThrees.

  • Indiana Pacers:
    • nERD: 56.3 (14th)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 120.1 (2nd)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 117.9 (24th)
    • Pace: 102.1 (2nd)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 44-35-3
  • New York Knicks:
    • nERD: 61.3 (7th)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 117.4 (8th)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 112.8 (8th)
    • Pace: 95.7 (30th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 44-37-1

Pacers vs. Knicks Best Bet

Over 217.5 (-108)

Pacers-Knicks is a clash of conflicting styles.

Indiana loves to get out and run. They're second in pace, sixth in assist rate, and boast the third-highest team true shooting percentage in the NBA. Their 123.3 points per game easily led the league, with their 2.7-point edge over the Boston Celtics (second in scoring) a larger difference than that between Boston and the seventh-highest scoring team, the Dallas Mavericks.

The Pacers have kept that rolling into the postseason, too. They averaged 113 points per game against Milwaukee in the first round, and they notched at least 120 points in all four of their wins in that series.

But they continued to struggle on defense, just as they have all season. The Bucks put up 110.2 points per game in Round 1 while Indiana surrendered 120.2 per game in the regular season (third-most). Indiana particularly struggled underneath in the regular season as they gave up the seventh-most offensive rebounds, most points in the paint, and highest opponent free throw rate.

That bodes well for New York -- the league leaders in offensive rebound rate and a team that ranked in the top half of the Association in free throw attempt rate.

While the Knicks boast a highly efficient offense on a per-possession basis, their league-low pace allowed them to rank only 19th in scoring.

They averaged a respectable 108.3 points per game in the first round, and that came against a hobbled Sixers side that was a bottom-half pace team themselves.

Indiana plays much faster than Philly does, and they aren't as stout defensively. The Knicks averaged 115.3 points per game against the Pacers in three regular season meetings -- a trend I expect to continue in Game 1.

But the biggest takeaway from their regular season meetings is that Indiana was able to score on New York's top-10 defense. They scored 140, 105, and 125 across three meetings, and even the 105-point game resulted in a 214 total. The other two blew past tonight's 217.5-point mark.

Our model projects the Knicks to win 116.5-111.3, resulting in a total north of 227.5.

Simply put, this is a over/under is too low for a Pacers game. Indiana is going to push the pace regardless of the score, and New York shouldn't have any issues scoring on the Pacers. I'll back the model and trust Indiana's frenetic pace to continue in Game 1, allowing this game to go over 217.5.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.