Cleveland owns a five-game winning streak, Indiana a three-game winning run. But the Cavs have lost three in a row against the NBA odds, while the Pacers have won three straight ATS.
Pacers-Cavs Betting Odds
Some parts of Sunday's NBA odds market opened Cleveland as high as -9 for this game, with a total of 198.5. But in the early betting that spread quickly dropped to -7 at most shops.
Indiana is 3-3 both SU and ATS, starting this season with three straight losses, but since winning three straight. Tuesday the Pacers won at Detroit 94-82; Wednesday they nipped Boston 100-98; and Friday they beat Miami 90-87. The Pacers trailed the Heat by four points early in the fourth quarter but ended the game with a 19-12 run, winning outright as a one-point dog.
On the night Indiana shot 45 percent from the field, thanks mostly to a 14-for-27 performance from Paul George, but hit just 13-of-24 from the free-throw line.
Cleveland is 5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS, riding a five-game winning streak, after beating Philly Friday night 108-102. The Cavs trailed the Sixers by a point at halftime, then exploded out to a 17-point lead in the third quarter. But they allowed Philly to rally within five early in the fourth, and had to hold on from there.
On the night Cleveland shot 51 percent from the floor, but allowed the Sixers to shoot 52 percent.
The Cavs beat Philly, but couldn't cover as 13-point favorites; just before that they beat New York 96-86 but couldn't cover at -11; and just before that they beat the Sixers 107-100, but couldn't cover at -12. That's one of the problems with betting LeBron and Company; they're always battling inflated spreads.
Pacers-Cavs Recent Rivalry
These teams split four games last season, as the home team won every meeting. The largest margin of victory was a 12-point Cleveland win, while the other three games were decided by a total of 14 points.
The Cavs outshot Indiana over those four games combined 44 percent to 43 percent.
Also, the totals split 2-2, as those games averaged 194 points.
Both these teams are 4-2 on the UNDERS this season; Pacers games are averaging 191 total points, Cavs games 195 points.
As of this writing LeBron James was listed as questionable for this game with a sore quad. Cleveland is already playing without Kyrie Irving, and JR Smith has missed recent action with a sore knee, although he could play today. On the other side of the scorers' table Indiana's George Hill, Rodney Stuckey and CJ Miles are all dealing with various ailments. Bettors would be very wise to consult a later injury report before getting down on this game.
Pacers-Cavs Free NBA Picks
Who's in and who's out will play a big part in deciding this game, but even assuming LeBron plays we like the value with Indiana, a divisional dog that went 3-1 ATS in this rivalry last season. Also, these teams met for a couple of grinders late last year, with neither team shooting the ball particularly well, so we're thinking UNDER.
Picks: Indiana +7.5 at 5Dimes & UNDER 198.5 at BetOnline