2018-2019 Indiana Pacers Team Preview and Betting Picks
Bankers Life Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, Indiana
Nate McMillan – Head Coach
Eastern Conference – Central Division
2017 Record: 48-34
The Indiana Pacers surprised a lot of teams last year and proved that they were not a team in the rebuilding phase of the organization. The Pacers went on to the Eastern Conference Playoffs last season but lost in the 1st round of the postseason.
This year, the Pacers are expecting a better overall season where Oladipo and the pieces they picked up in their busy offseason will be enough to get them past the first round of the postseason!
Let’s dig a bit deeper into the 2018-2019 Indiana Pacers and determine where we think they will end up.
Indiana Pacers Coaching
The Indiana Pacers are in their third year under Nate McMillan as the Head Coach. McMillan took over the team in 2016-2017 and has since led the Pacers to back-to-back playoff berths. McMillan has led the Pacers to consecutive winning seasons, going 42-40 in 2016 and 48-34 in 2017.
McMillan and the Pacers have been eliminated from the playoffs in each of the past two first rounds and this year, he will be looking to change that trend by going further in the NBA postseason.
Overall, McMillan has coached since 1999, when he joined the Seattle Supersonics as an assistant. McMillan remained with the Supersonics for one season, before taking over as Head Coach the following year. McMillan has coached the Supersonics, Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers throughout his career and has a career record of 568-526.
Indiana Pacers Offseason Transactions
- June 21, 2018 – The Pacers used their 1st round NBA Draft selection to pick 23rd and take UCLA Point Guard Aaron Holiday.
- June 22, 2018 – The Pacers used their 2nd round NBA Draft selection to pick 50th and take Missouri State Power Forward Alize Johnson.
- July 6, 2018 – The Pacers signed free agent Tyreke Evans, formerly of the Memphis Grizzlies.
- July 6, 2018 – The Pacers signed free agent Doug McDermott, formerly of the Dallas Mavericks.
- July 6, 2018 – The Pacers waived Al Jefferson, who later signed with Xinjiang Flying Tigers.
- July 9, 2018 – The Pacers signed free agent Kyle O’Quinn, formerly of the New York Knicks.
- July 9, 2018 – The Pacers waived Alex Poythress, who later signed with the Atlanta Hawks.
- July 10, 2018 – The Pacers lost Lance Stephenson as an unrestricted free agent, who later signed with the LA Lakers.
- August 1, 2018 – The Pacers lost Joe Young as an unrestricted free agent, who later signed with the Nanjing Monkey King.
- August 3, 3018 – The Pacers signed free agent C.J. Wilcox, formerly of the Portland Trail Blazers, to a two-way contract.
- September 21, 2018 – The Pacers resigned Ben Moore, converting his two-way contract to a regular NBA contract.
- September 21, 2018 – The Pacers signed free agent Omari Johnson, formerly of the Memphis Grizzlies.
- September 21, 2018 – The Pacers signed undrafted free agent Elijah Stewart, formerly of the USC Trojans.
Indiana Pacers Starting 5
Darren Collison (PG) – Not great but good! He led the NBA in 3-pt % last year and is coming off a season where he shot a career high from the floor with 61%. If he can continue to shoot when needed and provide assists to Oladipo, he may be able to take his game to the next level.
Victor Oladipo (SG) – When the Pacers traded Paul George for Victor Oladipo, they were planning for the future and felt that they were in a rebuilding year. Someone forgot to tell Oladipo that they were expected to be an average team that was rebuilding. Oladipo was a force and was named the Most Improved Player and also was named to numerous NBA Awards. Oladipo averaged 23 points per game last year and now he has a bit of a supporting cast around him.
Bojan Bogdanovic (SF) – Bojan proved last year that he can shoot the three and isn’t afraid to take shots. He has been very reliable over the past few years so I see no reasons why it should change this year.
Thaddeus Young (PF) – Young is one of the top defensive players on the Pacers. He is a steal machine, averaging over 2 steals per game last year and is unique in the fact that he can play defense to nearly anyone on the opposing team.
Myles Turner (C) – The Pacers are hoping Turner can improve his game and turn into one of the elite big men in the league. Last year, he wasn’t what he was expected to be but he is still young and has time to progress.
Indiana Pacers Key Bench Players
Tyreke Evans (SG) – Tyreke Evans was brought in to be Lance Stephenson’s replacement off the bench. Evans is a tremendous upgrade on Stephenson on both the offensive and defensive sides of the court.
Doug McDermott (SF) – McDermott isn’t going to win the team any championships and he isn’t going to beat out many players on the starting lineup but he is a force off the bench that can give a break to the Bogdanovic and Young.
Kyle O’Quinn (PF) – O’Quinn will be coming off the bench when the team faces dominating big men. He is a physical presence that can provide some extra defense and give the Pacers some size on the court.
Domantas Sabonis (PF) – Sabonis will come off the bench to provide the Pacers with a rebounding presence in the paint and play in nearly every play that the Pacers run.
2018 Predictions and Betting Outlook for Indiana Pacers
The Pacers are in a nice position this year as they are playing in the weaker Eastern Conference. On top of that, they have confidence, lots of it! Oladipo came on board and became an instant star and now, the Pacers are hoping that they can carry over last year’s success into this season.
The problem that I see once again this year is Oladipo is really the only player on the team that you would want to draft or have on your team. There really isn’t a great supporting cast and until they can get him some help, this team is not going to be good enough to win the big game.
The one play that I will consider this year involving the Indiana Pacers is for them to win the Central Division. They are +150 to win the Central Division and to be completely truthful, I don’t know that there is any one team that really stands out in the division. I think Indiana will actually win the Central Division at +150 at MyBookie, but then lose out in the Eastern Conference Championship.
Our friends over at MyBookie have set the following lines on the Indiana Pacers:
- Odds to Win NBA Championship: +9000
- Odds to Win Eastern Conference Championship: +2000
- Odds to Win Central Division: +150
- NBA Regular Season Wins Total: 48
- NBA MVP Odds: Victor Oladipo +8000
Don’t forget to check out our NBA Betting Guide to stay up to date on all of the happenings with each team in the NBA throughout the season!