Pacers vs. Cavaliers Prediction
The Cleveland Cavaliers had their shakiest season since the return of LeBron James as they enter the playoffs as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Can the Cavaliers turn it up a notch as they open the postseason this afternoon at home versus the Indiana Pacers?
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Quicken Loans Arena at 3:30PM ET
Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers at YouWager, the Cavaliers are a 6.5-point favorite on the spread line. The total is set at 212.5 points. As of Sunday morning, 61 percent of public bets are being placed on host Cleveland. Check out our NBA Public Betting Page for up-to-date information.
Will LeBron make the finals again?
The last seven seasons have seen LeBron lead his team to the NBA Finals, whether it was with the Miami Heat or now back in Cleveland. But the odds are a little longer this season, even though the Cavs are still the slight favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference ahead of the top-seeded Raptors. LeBron is having another masterful season at the age of 33 as he averaged 27.5 points, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds per game with a 28.65 PER. In the third-to-last game of the regular season, James tallied 44 pionts to go with 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a 132-130 loss at the 76ers. He did miss two free throws in the closing seconds to seal the loss and play a big role in Philadelphia earning the third seed. James always takes his game up a couple notches in the playoffs and that shouldn't change this season. I wouldn't be surprise if he puts up two or three triple-doubles this series and has a 40-point game or two.
Pacers found success against Cavs
The first three times Indiana faced Cleveland this season, the Pacers came away with victories - 124-107 on the road plus 106-102 and 97-95 at home. The Cavaliers finally got one back via a 115-108 win on Jan. 26. The interesting thing is that all four meetings came before Cleveland made three trades to overhaul part of its roster. Indiana was on roll through April 1, but did lose three of its final five games heading into the postseason. But with those three wins against the Cavs, this has to be a confident group of Pacers coming in led by shooting guard Victor Oladipo and center Myles Turner. If ever there was a season Cleveland was ripe for the taking, it is this one.
NBA Betting Trends
The Pacers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games in Cleveland. The under is 3-1-1 in the last five meetings with the Cavs. Indiana is 4-0 ATS in its last four games following a straight up loss.
The over is 5-1 in the last six Cleveland games following an ATS loss. Cleveland is 0-4 in its last four games playing on three or more days of rest. The under is 4-0 in the last four Cavs games played on three or more days of rest.
Trust in LBJ? Probably, although a great case can be made for Toronto or even Philadelphia to make it out of the Eastern Conference. As for Boston, it seems to be screwed due to injuries despite having the two seed and its long odds to reach the NBA Finals indicate that. But the Cavs can sometimes be slow starters in the playoffs and I expect that here. Indiana has played good ball the last month or two and have a belief it can win this series. Look for the Pacers to cover here behind a monster game from Oladipo.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: INDIANA PACERS +6.5