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Raptors vs. Pacers Preview: Pacers actually favored against Raptors

The Pacers start the new year at home against the Raps.

Toronto Raptors v Indiana Pacers Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers (20-17) tip off 2023 by wrapping up a four-game homestand against the Toronto Raptors (16-20).

This will be the first of the four games in which the Pacers are favored to win, not that it has mattered since the Pacers beat the Hawks, Cavs and Clippers as an underdog. Still, this is the first time the Pacers have been favored since playing the Nets on Dec. 10 when Brooklyn sat their top eight players (and the Pacers lost). Regardless, even the linemakers are acknowledging the Pacers quality play to close out 2022. Hopefully, the Pacers can continue to play like a disrespected underdog even when they’re favored.

As for the Raptors, they have been as disappointing as the Pacers have been surprising. Fred Van Vleet is questionable but the Raptors still boast a dynamic lineup that allows them to play Scottie Barnes at shooting guard.

The Pacers beat the Raptors on Nov. 12, 118-104 thanks to five threes from Buddy Hield, 15 assists from Tyrese Haliburton and 15 points off the bench for Bennedict Mathurin. No doubt the Pacers ‘Canadian Posse’ of Mathurin, Andrew Nembhard and Oshae Brissett will be motivated to show out against the Raps.

DraftKings Odds: Pacers -1.5, O/U 232.5 (latest DraftKings odds here)

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

TV: Bally Sports Indiana/Bally Sports + app

Radio: 93.5 FM/107.5 FM

Projected Starting Lineups:

Pacers: Tyrese Haliburton, Andrew Nembhard, Buddy Hield, Aaron Nesmith, Myles Turner

Raptors: Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Christian Koloko

IND: Daniel Theis - out (right knee surgery), Kendall Brown - out (right tibia stress reaction)

TOR: Fred VanVleet - questionable (back), Precious Achiuwa - questionable (ankle), Otto Porter - out (toe)

Please share your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.