The Indiana Pacers will wrap up a four-game road trip Wednesday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, so here’s my best betting pick for their Central Division showdown against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Pacers opened as firm 6-point favorites on BetMGM Sportsbook even though they’ve been playing in a terrible form, while the Cavs have been terrific over the last four outings. These two foes will continue their three-game regular-season series, and the Pacers thrashed off the Cavaliers 119-99 as 8-point home favorites on December 31.
Indiana is still without T.J. Warren (foot) and Caris LeVert (kidney), while Doug McDermott (mouth) is questionable to play. Cleveland, on the other side, cannot count on Kevin Love (calf) and Larry Nance Jr. (finger).
The Pacers dropped four in a row, got routed by Phila
The Indiana Pacers (15-18; 14-19 ATS) extended their losing streak to four games this past Monday, suffering a 130-114 defeat at the Philadelphia 76ers as 3.5-point road underdogs. They collapsed in the second quarter and allowed the Sixers to build a double-digit lead, playing some lousy defense for most of the game.
The Pacers have to regroup as soon as possible. They are tied with Chicago for the ninth seed in the East and have to start improving on both sides of the ball. Indiana ranks 17th in the league in points scored per 100 possessions (111.5) and 14th in points allowed per 100 possessions (111.1).
Malcolm Brogdon (21.3 PPG, 6.3 APG) and Domantas Sabonis (21.2 PPG, 11.3 RPG) continue to lead the way for the Pacers who desperately need more from their second unit. Caris LeVert might return later this month, but T.J. Warren will stay on the shelf for at least a few months.
The Cavaliers look to extend their win streak
After a horrible run and ten straight losses in February, the Cleveland Cavaliers (14-21; 14-21 ATS) have picked up the pieces recently. They’ve won four straight games including a 112-109 overtime victory at Philadelphia, and the Cavaliers are now just 2.5 games behind the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Cleveland is coming off a 101-90 road win over Houston. Collin Sexton poured in 39 points, and the Alabama Crimson Tide’s product is averaging 24.3 points on 47.3% shooting through his last ten outings. The Cavs shut down the Rockets’ offense while posting 18 rebounds and ten assists more than their rivals.
The Cavaliers have struggled offensively for most of the season. Cleveland is tallying only 105.4 points per 100 possessions (28th in the NBA) on 45.3% shooting from the field (23rd) and 34.4% from downtown (27th). The Cavs are allowing 113.1 points in a return (21st) on 47.9% shooting from the field (tied-28th) and 40.0% from beyond the 3-point line (29th).
- 12-5-2 ATS in the last 19 games against Cleveland
- 7-3-1 ATS in the last 11 games against the Central Division
- 4-13 ATS in the last 17 games overall
- 1-4 ATS in the last five games against Central Division
This one can easily turn out to be a very tight contest even though Indiana is a better team on paper. The Cavs’ confidence is sky-high after four straight wins, but the Pacers just have to break out of their funk and satisfy the odds on the floor.
Indiana dominated Cleveland in their first matchup of the season. The Pacers made 16 triples out of 35 attempts (45.7%) and will look to exploit the Cavs’ leaky defense once more.
Pick: Take Indiana Pacers -4.0 at -150
The total has gone under in four of the last five encounters between Indiana and Cleveland and six of the Cavaliers’ last seven games overall. On the other hand, the over is 6-1 in the Pacers’ previous seven outings, and it is 8-3 in Indiana’s last 11 games against the Central Division.
Although the under is 6-1 in Cleveland’s last seven tilts, five of those seven produced more than 216 points in total. The Pacers have some defensive issues, allowing 118 or more points in four of their last six showings, so I’m backing the over.
Pick: Go over 216.0 points at -110