The In-Season Tournament semifinals have arrived. Both games will be played in Vegas on Thursday night, with a trip to Saturday’s championship game on the line.
Although there’s no home-court advantage, there’s a playoff feel to these games, with the players seemingly bought in. Let’s get to our best bets for the two semifinal matchups.
Pacers team total: Over 125.5
The game total for Pacers–Bucks is 256.5, the highest total in the last 30 years. The previous highest mark was from a Pacers game earlier this season. This historic number is deserved for two explosive offenses and suspect defenses.
The Pacers have the NBA’s best offense, averaging 128.4 points per game, while the Bucks have the third-best with 122.3 points per game. The Pacers have the third-worst defense, and the Bucks have the 10th-worst.
We’re targeting the Pacers team total because the Bucks’ defense is especially weak at stopping dynamic guards from penetrating. The Pacers are loaded with scoring guards, starting with Tyrese Haliburton. They should get virtually any look they want. This will be an offensive showcase where defense is optional – as the total indicates – but I have more confidence in the Pacers’ offense exploding.
Indiana’s scored at least 126 points in five of its last seven games.
Odds: -120 (playable to -130)
Anthony Davis: Over 12.5 rebounds
Davis is averaging 12.6 rebounds per game, the second-most in the league. He’s gone over his rebounding total in eight of the last 10 games.
The Pelicans are a favorable matchup for good rebounders. New Orleans ranks in the bottom half of the league in rebounding percentage.
New Orleans center Jonas Valanciunas is a good rebounder, but the Pelicans sometimes implement smaller lineups that feature Zion Williamson at the five. If they do that tonight, Davis should take advantage of the size mismatch.
Odds: -110 (playable to -120)
Brandon Ingram: Over 28.5 points and assists
Ingram may be the NBA’s most underrated player. He’s rarely brought up when discussing the game’s top players, but he should be an All-Star candidate as the best player on what appears to be a playoff-caliber team.
He’s not only carrying a large scoring load; his playmaking responsibilities are also elevated. He’s averaging 29 combined points and assists this season. Following a 30-point performance that catapulted the Pelicans to the semifinals, expect another aggressive Ingram game against his former squad in a huge spot.
Sam Oshtry is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @soshtry for more betting coverage.