The Indiana Pacers are favored on the road against a struggling Charlotte Hornets team that has dropped six games in a row.
LaMelo Ball is once again expected to be out for the Hornets, while the Pacers are hoping to have Tyrese Haliburton (questionable, hamstring) in action. Haliburton has been playing on a minutes limit as of late, coming off the bench in the team’s loss to the Sacramento Kings on Friday.
The Pacers are still posting the No. 1 offensive rating and No. 2 pace in the league, but should we trust them against this Hornets team?
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Let’s examine the latest odds and my best bet for Sunday’s matchup:
Pacers vs. Hornets odds, spread and total
Pacers vs. Hornets how to watch
- Date: Sunday, Feb. 4
- Time: 6:00 p.m. EST
- Venue: Spectrum Center
- How to watch (TV): Bally Sports Indiana, Bally Sports Southeast
- Pacers record: 27-23
- Hornets record: 10-37
Pacers vs. Hornets injury reports
Pacers injury report
- Tyrese Haliburton – questionable
- Kendall Brown – questionable
- Oscar Tshiebwe – questionable
- Bennedict Mathurin – questionable
- Myles Turner – questionable
- Jalen Smith – questionable
- Isaiah Wong – questionable
Hornets injury report
- Amari Bailey – out
- LaMelo Ball – out
- Kyle Lowry – out
- Gordon Hayward – out
- Mark Williams – out
- Frank Ntilikina – questionable
Pacers vs. Hornets key players to watch
Tyrese Haliburton: The Pacers All-Star guard came off the bench in his last game, and he’s playing just 21.8 minutes per game in his last three contests since returning from a hamstring injury. Hali is still averaging 14.0 points and 5.3 assists per game despite the limited minutes, but those numbers are much different than his season-long averages.
Brandon Miller: Hornets rookie Brandon Miller has taken on a bigger scoring role since Terry Rozier was traded, averaging 21.3 points per game since Jan. 19. He’s taken at least 18 shots in each of his last four games. If he gets going, Miller could post a mid-to-high 20s scoring game against a weak Indiana defense.
Pacers vs. Hornets prediction and pick
This is a tough matchup to handicap until we know Haliburton’s exact status, but I still think this game lines up well for an OVER bet.
Indiana and Charlotte rank No. 26 and No. 30 in the NBA in defensive rating, and the Pacers have the No. 1 offense in the league. Plus, Indiana loves to push the pace, ranking No. 2 in the NBA in that category.
Charlotte hasn’t been able to stop anyone as of late, but we’ll need the team to score as well to push this game over the total. Usually, Indiana is playing games with totals in the 240s, but the market has adjusted with Haliburton on a minutes limit.
Still, I think the OVER is the play.
The OVER is 29-20-2 in Indiana's games and 25-22 in Charlotte's games in the 2023-24 season.
If Hali suits up, this game should be a track meet with defense being highly optional.
Pick: OVER 237 (-108)
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.