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Pacers/Thunder & Kings/Lakers Parlay Preview Article


CTG Super Moderator
Staff member
NBA Parlay for Wednesday's Slate (+264): Lots of Points in Oklahoma City and Los Angeles

Parlay Pacers +4 at -110 & Kings/Lakers over 245 at -110 at +264 odds with BetOnline

Indiana Pacers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at 8 p.m. ET at Paycom Center in Oklahoma City

Assessing the Thunder Perimeter Defense

Especially earlier in the season, folks have offered the Thunder defense significant praise that might skew your current perception of its quality.

The praise was predicated on the low three-point percentage of Thunder opponents.

But there are two problems with this statistic.

One, Thunder opponents are converting a higher rate of their three-pointers than they were converting in early November when this praise was vocalized.

Two, opposing three-point shooting percentage is a problematic statistic.

It is problematic because, once the ball is in the air, no defense can possibly do anything to stop it.

Whether a shot is made or not on a given possession is thus not necessarily a consequence of whether the defense did a good job or not.

Sometimes the defense forces the opponent to attempt a bad shot that happens to go in.

Likewise, sometimes the defense allows an open shot, which is obviously an example of what bad defenses do, and the shot happens not to go in.

The latter is what Oklahoma City's defense often does.

Key Thunder Defense Statistics

To be exact, the Thunder allow the ninth-highest frequency of open three-point attempts and the 10th-highest frequency of wide-open ones.

Because the Thunder allow a disproportionate rate of more makable three-point attempts, one must characterize their perimeter defense as vulnerable.

Teams that shoot well from behind the arc are thus primed to perform extra well against the Thunder.

Pacer Offense

Indiana is a team that I look to invest in, in some form, against a vulnerable perimeter defense.

The Pacers have built their team to be a more modern one -- compared to more recent Pacer squads -- that attempts a higher rate of threes.

They have acquired the necessary coaches and players.

Most prominently, the currently injured Tyrese Haliburton attempts 7.4 threes per game and converts threes at a 39.9 percent clip.

Fellow Pacer guard Buddy Hield attempts 9.1 threes per game and shoots 42.6-percent from deep.

In place of Haliburton, TJ McConnell is accruing extra minutes and shooting 40.7 percent from deep.

Other Pacer players are stepping up.

Center Myles Turner, for example, whose rim-protecting presence "under" bettors like to invoke, will be a valuable asset on offense today.

He is having a career year from behind the arc.

His form is also tip-top indeed partly because of his three-point shooting.

After scoring 29 points on Sunday, he scored 30 on Monday

In the latter game, he shot five of nine from deep.

With these three scorers and more, the Pacers will produce a high scoring output against the Thunder defense.

Thunder Offense Can't Keep Pace

Because Turner is such a good rim protector -- he ranks third in blocks per game -- an offense facing Indiana does not want to have to rely on scoring at the rim.

But this is just what the Thunder do: they attempt the second-most field goals within five feet of the basket.

Regardless of their opponent tonight, this shot profile seems unfavorable to the Thunder because they are the least efficient team in this area of the court.

A team like the Thunder, that ranks dead-last in field goal percentage within five feet of the basket, is exactly the wrong team to have a favorable offensive outlook against Turner-led Indiana.

Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at 9:30 p.m. ET at crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles

Sizzling King Offense

Sacramento is a red-hot "over" team right now.

The "over" has hit in five straight King games.

Sacramento's offense does a lot to explain this trend: the Kings have scored 130 or more points in five straight games.

One of those five teams was, in fact, the Lakers.

Led by characteristically quick point guard De'Aaron Fox, the Kings bring speed and tempo.

In addition to attacking fast, they are productive from deep.

They rank the seventh-most threes per game.

Sacramento Will Stay Hot

There are good reasons why the Laker defense was one of Sacramento's victims.

The Kings like to run up and down, and the Lakers allow the fifth most points in transition.

L.A. is also vulnerable from deep, allowing the eighth-highest frequency of open three-point attempts.

Lakers Can Keep Pace

The Lakers are constantly competitive at home -- they haven't lost a home game by more than four points since November 11.

Therefore, when the King offense gets going, the Lakers will be primed to keep up.

On offense, they like to score in front of the basket.

While LeBron might not play due to his ankle and Anthony Davis is still out, the Lakers' regression in defensive quality will make up for the offensive prowess of both players.

L.A. still features Russell Westbrook, among others, who help the Lakers make the most shots within five feet of the basket.

As measured by field goals made and field goal percentage, Sacramento ranks among the league's worst at defending the basket.


CTG Partner
Staff member
Definitely tracking the Cali matchup tonight.

As I wrote in Lex thread... Odd scheduling situation for OKC here.

Good info.