Tuesday, April 9, 2024 at 7:10pm EDT, Scotiabank Arena Toronto, ON

Pacers Aim to Clinch Playoff Spot Against Feisty Raptors: Why the Spread Might Be More Appealing

The Indiana Pacers (45-34) head north to face the Toronto Raptors (25-53) on Tuesday, April 9th, in a pivotal Eastern Conference matchup. The Pacers, currently holding the 6th seed, are looking to solidify their position in the playoffs, while the Raptors aim to end their home schedule on a high note with a rare three-game winning streak.

My Prediction:

Based on the Pacers’ strong record, recent performance, and the Raptors’ weaker schedule and missing key player, I predict the Pacers will win. However, the Raptors’ recent wins and home-court advantage suggest a closer game than the 10-point spread.

Pacers Win (Averaging Picks): This leans towards the Pacers winning based on their overall record, recent form, and the Raptors’ missing player. However, the spread might be too high due to the Raptors’ home-court advantage.

Considering Spread:

Taking the points with the Raptors (+10) could be a safer bet considering the Raptors’ recent wins and home advantage.


The total points (O/U 239.5) is a close call. Both teams can score, but the Pacers might play tougher defense due to the playoff implications.

Final Picks (Averaging with My Prediction):

  • Pacers Win (leaning slightly towards this)
  • Raptors +10 (safer bet considering spread)
  • Under 239.5 (slightly leaning towards this)

Pacers on a Roll, Eyeing Top-Six Seed

The Pacers are riding a wave of momentum after a thrilling 117-115 victory over the Miami Heat. Despite leading by as many as 22 points, Indiana had to hold on for dear life in the closing minutes. Key free throws from Myles Turner and Aaron Nesmith sealed the win, showcasing the Pacers’ resilience in a playoff-like atmosphere.

T.J. McConnell provided a spark off the bench with 22 points, while Turner dominated the paint with a 22-point, 13-rebound double-double. Coach Rick Carlisle praised his team’s composure under pressure, highlighting the importance of this win in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race.

Raptors Finding Their Groove Despite Losing Season

The Raptors, despite their underwhelming record, have shown glimpses of promise lately. With a healthier roster featuring Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett, Gary Trent Jr., Kelly Olynyk, and Bruce Brown all available for the first time since March 1st, Toronto put on a show against the Washington Wizards, winning 130-122.

Quickley exploded for a triple-double (31 points, 13 assists, 7 rebounds), leading a balanced scoring attack. The return of key players has provided a much-needed boost to their offense and defense. Coach Darko Rajakovic emphasized the adjustment period as they integrate these pieces, but the early signs are encouraging.

Season Series Leans Raptors, But Pacers Favored for This Matchup

Interestingly, Toronto holds a surprising 2-1 season series lead over Indiana, with the visiting team winning each game. However, considering the Pacers’ current form and playoff aspirations, most analysts predict an Indiana victory.

The Pacers boast a superior record, are healthier, and have more experience in close games. However, the Raptors’ home-court advantage and recent winning streak shouldn’t be ignored.

Why the Spread Might Be the Smarter Bet

While the Pacers are favored to win, the 10-point spread offered by sportsbooks might be a more enticing option for bettors. Here’s why:

  • Home Court Advantage: The Raptors will be playing in front of their home crowd for their season finale, which can provide a significant emotional boost.
  • Pacers’ Recent Struggles in Close Games: Though Indiana won against Miami, they nearly squandered a big lead. Their ability to close out games consistently remains a question mark.
  • Raptors’ Improved Offense: With their core healthy, Toronto has shown the potential to be an offensive force. This could lead to a closer game than expected.

Taking All Factors into Account: A Smart Betting Strategy

While the Pacers are the more talented team and are expected to win, the spread offers a safer bet for those looking to wager on this matchup. Here’s a breakdown of a potential betting strategy:

  • Moneyline: Pacers win (slightly leaning towards this, but carries more risk)
  • Spread: Raptors +10 (safer bet considering the factors mentioned above)
  • Over/Under: Under 239.5 (both teams can score, but the Pacers might prioritize defense due to playoff implications)

Pick: Raptors +10