The Road To The NBA Playoffs Is Uncertain For Indiana Pacers

Posted on May 4, 2021

The Indiana Pacers are right on the playoff bubble with eight games remaining in the season.

If the season ended today, the Pacers would own the No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Their 30-34 record would be just enough to snag them a spot in the play-in tournament.

Thankfully, Indiana online sports betting makes wagering on the team’s playoff chances a reality.

Will the Indiana Pacers make the playoffs?

Sliding into the postseason could be easier said than done for the Pacers.

Anyone with the DraftKings Indiana app can wager on the team’s playoff future.

Missing the playoffs is the -200 favorite right now, with making the cut at +155.

That’s a grim outlook for fans hoping for some postseason action this year.

The Milwaukee Bucks have already clinched the Central Division title, and at +6,000, it would be a shock if the Pacers make any kind of run at reaching the NBA Finals.

Making the playoffs would at least give fans something to root for this year.

The team has made the playoffs in nine of the last 10 seasons.

Right now the odds are stacked against them.

For those looking to bet on the Pacers in the post season, it looks like it’s going to come down to the play-in tournament.

NBA play in tournament rules

The league’s play-in tournament has a fairly simple setup.

Each conference will have a play-in tournament that features the No. 7-10 seeds.

No. 7 will play No. 8, with the winner of that game officially claiming a playoff spot.

Meanwhile, the No. 9 and No. 10 seeds will also be facing off.

The season is over for whichever team loses that play-in game. The winner will go on to face the loser of the No.7-8 seed game.

Whichever team wins that matchup will claim the final playoff spot in the conference.

The NBA recently tweeted out the latest playoff picture.

The tournament will take place from May 18 to May 21, so we’re only a few weeks away from the action.

Pacers vs. Wizards play-in possibility

Unless something drastic changes over the next few days, the Pacers are probably going to end up in the play-in tournament.

If the season ended today, the Pacers would be playing the Washington Wizards in the No. 9 vs. No. 10 game.

Unfortunately, that’s a matchup that every team is hoping to avoid.

The Wizards are scorching hot right now after winning 13 of their last 16 games.

Russell Westbrook is leading the charge with another triple double average this year. He will finish the season with that average even if he doesn’t record a single point, rebound, or assist for the rest of the season.

Westbrook averages a ludicrous 24.5 points, 17.5 rebounds, and 22.5 assists per game against the Pacers this season.

To make matters worse, the Wizards also have Bradley Beal.

Beal is the NBA’s second leading scorer this season at 30.9 points per game.

That duo makes the Wizards a team that no one wants to deal with in a win-or-go-home situation.

Unfortunately for Indiana, that potential matchup will likely become reality.

Other Pacers tournament situations

The Pacers might be able to avoid that Wizards matchup depending on how the rest of the season goes.

If Washington keeps winning at its current rate, the team could end up rising to the No. 8 seed.

If that happens, they’ll likely face off against the Boston Celtics instead of the Pacers.

Indiana’s play-in matchup would become the Charlotte Hornets in that situation.

That matchup would be a lot easier to swallow since Indiana native Gordon Hayward is injured and out of commission for the Hornets.

Of course, it’s still possible that the Pacers miss the play-in tournament entirely.

If Indiana starts losing games down the stretch, then the Toronto Raptors or Chicago Bulls might be able to steal their spot.

That outcome isn’t as likely to happen, but it’s still a possibility.

Indiana’s future will ultimately come down to how well the Pacers perform during their last eight games.

Win or lose, Indiana’s online sportsbook apps will be taking action on the rest of the team’s season.

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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a sports writer based in Indianapolis, IN. He's an Indiana University graduate who's spent time as a sports reporter covering teams at the prep, collegiate and professional levels.

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