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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

May 20th NBA Play-in Action: Washington Wizards @ Indiana Pacers

Updated: May 20, 2021

Backing Wizards / fading Pacers after dreadful / exceptional outs: Washington -3

Consistent with our positioning, the Pacers played lights out basketball versus the Hornets in the first round of the NBA Play-in Tournament Tuesday. Indiana's offense was about as efficient as any NBA offense in a single game (ever), posting 108 points in only 84 possessions, including a gaudy 47% hit rate from deep (the Pacers hit an eye-popping 63% of corner three tries).

Conversely, the Wizards could only muster a miserly 96 points in 97 possessions, in their recent Play-in clash with the Celtics, with almost 16% of Washington's opportunities ending with turnovers. The Wizards' offensive efficiency Tuesday ranks in the bottom quintile of contests in the database.

The Wizards also committed 31 fouls, and the Celtics converted a historic 29 free throws per 100 possessions. For context, the Wizards average about 21 fouls per contest this season, dead last in the League. Tuesday effort was about 50% worse than this extremely bar.

Also under the category of as bad as it gets, Washington allowed Boston to rebound more a third of their misses.

This is all to say that there is ample room for the Wizards to improve, and the Pacers to regress. Inline with this line of thinking, bookmakers installed the D.C. gang as 3-4 point favorites for the affair. Also hinting that these teams most recent performances were anomalous, the consensus betting public is aligned with the Wizards--Washington has attracted 52% of ATS bets and 54% of dollars tracked by The Action Network, as of the time of this writing.

We are falling in with the masses and betting on both teams to regress from Tuesday's extremes to closer to their average selves.

Consistent with our expectation, context likewise implies an edge for the Wizards.

In post-season action, fading dogs on winning streaks (of two or more games) has proven quite profitable versus teams that missed the prior playoffs.

Squads in this position have delivered a ridiculous 68% cover rate, statistically significantly different (higher) than the 52.4% ATS win rate required to break even assuming the standard vigorish.

Happy betting!!

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