Knicks vs. Pacers Game 6 NBA Best Bet: Indiana Loves Playing at Home

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Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Indiana Pacers shoots the ball in the game against the New York Knicks in game three of the Eastern Conference semifinals of the NBA Playoffs at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on May 10, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

The Indiana Pacers host the New York Knicks in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference second round series, with Knicks leading 3-2. The top-rated sportsbooks have already released NBA odds.

For your best bet in this matchup, I will recommend investing in the Pacers. And, if you want extra NBA coverage, check out our YouTube channel.

NBA Pick: Pacers -5.5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Pacers -5.5 (-110)
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New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers

Friday, May 17, 2024 – 08:30 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

More Effort and Energy

Indiana lost Game 5 because it gave up too easily.

Missed layups demoralized the team, but the greatest cause of its demise in Game 5 was a lack of effort and energy.

Throughout the series, we’ve seen Indiana compete on the glass well. So there is no other explanation for their failure to do so in Game 5. The turnovers were also inexplicable.

The root cause of Indiana’s failure in Game 5 was psychological. Namely, the Pacers have trouble with taking their opponent seriously.

After winning the regular season series against Milwaukee, they failed to take the Bucks minus Giannis seriously in Game 1 of that series.

Repeatedly, they play down to their opponent’s level.

I didn’t play the Pacers in Game 5, because a blowout win in Game 4 had set them up to be complacent.

But now that they’ve been blown out and embarrassed, they are going to come back strong.

Another Home Triumph

Looking aside from this psychology factor, we saw a similar concatenation of events in the last series when Indiana, late in its series against the Bucks, lost big on the road before coming back home and winning big.

The Pacers have, in this series, thrived at home, winning Game 3 only by five because the Knicks shot well beyond themselves from behind the arc, Donte DiVincenzo played incredibly well, and the Pacers’ bench underperformed significantly.

Indiana won Game 4 in blowout fashion, though, for reasons that are more sustainable.

The Pacers, in Game 4, outperformed the Knicks from behind the arc – their home three-point shooting percentage is indeed excellent on the season.

Their breadth of scoring talent won out, overall, whereas the Knicks miss depth and scorers, especially with OG Anunoby out.


It is well-known, statistically, that Andrew Nembhard can’t guard Jalen Brunson – although the Pacers can evidently win when he does spend time guarding Brunson.

Aaron Nesmith with his length and T.J. McConnell, however, do a good job of limiting Brunson’s field goal efficiency when either one operates as his primary defender.

Because I know this and everybody knows this, we should expect Indiana’s head coach to follow common sense and defend Brunson accordingly, although Indiana will still win significantly even if Brunson goes off.

Whereas the Knicks lack consistent double-digit scorers, the Pacers have Pascal Siakam and Tyrese Haliburton who reliably do a great job of bouncing back from an overly passive performance.

Myles Turner is too tough for the less mobile Isaiah Hartenstein to account for on the perimeter.

Nembhard is a helpful weapon from deep, and Obi Toppin and McConnell repeatedly score double digits off the bench.

Indiana, in sum, has too much firepower especially when it’s focused at home, and we saw in Game 4 when it held the Knicks to 89 points that it can defend well against this shorthanded group.

Bonus Consideration 

I want to be clear that I am not relying on this potential factor, but it is a potential factor that would be significant.

I believe that New York might be less motivated for Game 6.

The Knicks know that Game 7 would be in their venue, where the Pacers are 0-3 in this series. They know that they are short-handed, too.

It seems very possible to me that they refuse to tire themselves out in Game 6 and that they reserve their efforts for Game 7.

The Pick

If they thus lack motivation, then the Pacers would win by 30 points instead of by 10-20 points.

NBA Pick: Pacers -5.5 (-110) at BetOnline

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Pacers -5.5 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.