As the reverberations from today’s trade deadline shake rosters up across the Association, the Golden State Warriors complete their East Coast road trip with a game against the Indiana Pacers.
The spotlight for tonight’s game is on the looming point guard duel between All-Time great Steph Curry and up-and-comer Tyrese Haliburton.
The Warriors have won four of their last five and finally seem to be cohering into a team that makes sense. It’s the Pacers, however, who come in favored by the NBA odds as the Warriors are on a back-to-back.
My NBA picks and predictions for Warriors vs. Pacers believe Pascal Siakam will have a strong offensive outing against Golden State on Thursday, February 8.
Warriors vs Pacers odds
Warriors vs Pacers predictions
There’s an excellent chance that the best player traded this trade deadline has already been moved, and his name is Pascal Siakam. For whatever reason, the Toronto Raptors didn’t see Siakam in their long-term plans, and they shopped him to several different teams who needed reinforcements at the four.
The Indiana Pacers ultimately won the bidding. They always made the most sense as the trade partner for Pascal, and while it’s only been a few games and most of them without a fully actualized Tyrese Haliburton, it’s readily apparent why.
Siakam is a genuine two-way player. He gives the Pacers switchability on defense, the ability to protect the rim in spots, and crucial size for a team that was sorely lacking it.
But it’s the synergies he provides on offense that are perhaps even more enticing.
Siakam can attack with a live dribble, draw two, and kick out in a way that none of the other bigs on Indiana can. Myles Turner is a good player, and a spacing five, but he doesn’t have anywhere close to Siakam’s ball-handling skills.
Pascal doesn’t need to live in the paint, either. He’s happy to attack from the perimeter or shoot threes from the corner. He and Turner don’t need to occupy the same spots and are already learning to play off one another nicely.
Siakam is also a crafty finisher. His patented spin move allows him to outmaneuver even the NBA’s best rim protectors to score right at the basket. He’s a master advantage creator, capable of attacking and scoring off that advantage or kicking out to one of the Pacers’ many 3-point shooters.
If Siakam looked less than a consistent All-NBA player in recent years, that can be blamed, in part, on the horrible spacing of those Raptors teams. Siakam would often expend energy and time on the shot clock creating advantages nobody on Toronto could use.
The Pacers, by contrast, play almost nobody real minutes who can’t shoot or at least have to be guarded outside the arc, and Siakam is an impressive one-on-one scorer. He’s also a deadly mismatch hunter and opposing teams will struggle to double him as he’s leveraging the spacing and gravity provided by Haliburton’s elite shooting.
And of course, he’s a lethal leak-out option for Haliburton’s pinpoint hit-ahead passes. Pascal is a force to deal with in transition.
Siakam is averaging 23.4 points per game over his last five on elite shooting splits. With Buddy Hield traded away this morning for players who won’t be suiting up, that means more shot attempts to go around.
As the Golden State Warriors are likely to be weary on the second night of a road back-to-back, I think these Pascal Siakam odds make for a favorable best bet.
My best bet: Pascal Siakam Over 21.5 points (-115 at FanDuel)
Warriors vs Pacers same-game parlay
It wasn’t so long ago that Haliburton was a lock for double-digit assists every night. Then, the hamstring injury happened and he rushed back and missed even more time. Since then, he’s been on a minutes restriction of just about 20 minutes per game.
But he saw a noticeable bump in playing time against the Houston Rockets and reportedly could have stretched his minutes in the game prior if it hadn’t been a blowout win.
He’s not at 100%, but he’s rounding into form, and with the possibility that his playing time could see another bump tonight, these odds make for a favorable inclusion for our same-game parlay.
The Over on the Pacers has also been one of the most consistent paying bets this season. It stands to reason if I’m predicting Haliburton to keep increasing his playing time that Indiana’s offense will rise right along with it.
The Warriors have also tended toward higher-scoring games on the second night of back-to-backs, with the Over going 7-2 in such situations this season. Fatigued teams play to their identity, and this Warriors team is more focused on their offense than in years past.
The Warriors have had the seventh-best offense over the past two weeks per Cleaning the Glass as they begin to find their sea legs.
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Warriors vs Pacers spread and Over/Under analysis
Indiana opened between -5.5 and -6. Some books are now offering it as much as Pacers -6.5.
There’s probably not a team in the NBA I’d rather play less on a road back-to-back than the Pacers. That the Warriors took care of business early against the shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers certainly helps their cause, but it’s still a rough turnaround for the veteran core of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
Indiana plays at the second-fastest pace in the NBA. It runs make-or-miss, making it a team that can blow a game open in a hurry if the opposition isn’t prepared to run too.
Still, the Warriors are beginning to look like a real team as the veteran trio gels with young players like Jonathan Kuminga and Brandin Podziemski. Andrew Wiggins has also put together his strongest stretch of games over the past two weeks. If those players all continue to play at this level or close, the Warriors can beat just about anyone.
Oddsmakers are predicting a scoring bonanza on Thursday, with the total opening as high as 251.5. It’s come down slightly in the interim, with most books offering it at 249.5 at the time of writing.
That ludicrous-looking total is no shock to anyone who has been paying even a moderate amount of attention to the Pacers this season of course. They seem to play 150-145 games almost every night, content to live and die by the maxim that offense truly is the best defense.
That’s been particularly true at home, where the Over is 19-8 in Indiana’s last 27 games.
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Warriors vs Pacers betting trend to know
The Over is 19-8 in the Pacers’ last 27 home games. Find more NBA betting trends for Warriors vs. Pacers.
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Warriors vs Pacers game info
|Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
|Thursday, February 8, 2024
|7:00 p.m. ET
|NBC Sports Bay Area, Bally Sports Indiana
Warriors vs Pacers latest injuries
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