The Cavaliers are on a serious roll as they head into the tailend of a back-to-back set. They'll face off against a familar foe in Indiana, with the NBA odds favoring LeBron and company.
The odds are very much in Cleveland's favor, which shouldn't shock anyone considering how well this team has been playing of late. The Cavs are the hottest team in the NBA right now and as such as priced out as 6.5-point favorites on the NBA betting odds lines board.
The total has been set at 197 for tonight, which seems about right. We don't see a big edge either way.
The Pacers did manage a win their last time out and are 3-2 over their last five games. Their victories came over Detroit, Orlando and the New York Knicks, and the losses were against Toronto and Sacramento.
In the recent 114-109 win over Detroit, Indiana got involved in a shootout, something that we rarely see. Normally we witness grind-it-out type games with lower scores, but this one was all offense. The Pacers shot a ridiculous 59.7 percent from the field overall and 57.1 percent from beyond the arc. They hit 12-of-21 from three. Pretty much everyone found success offensively, but the standout was George Hill, who started and scored 20 points to go with six assists and three rebounds.
Frank Vogel will certainly be happy to have his starting point guard back and feeling healthy again. The Pacers have endured a rough first half to their season, but they are almost back to full strength. There are also rumors that Paul George is trying to return ahead of schedule in time for a potential playoff appearance. Who knows. That's all speculation - one thing we do know is Indiana is going to get up for this visit of Cleveland.
So, the Cavs are good at basketball.
What an amazing streak it's been for Cleveland, who has now won 12 straight games. Once a game below .500 at 19-20, the Cavs have snapped out of it and are 31-20 and storming up the standings as a result. There's no hotter team in the NBA at this time, but Cleveland will have to cope with this being a road game and their second game in as many nights. Yes, the Cavs didn't exactly expend much energy in last night's trouncing of the Clippers (105-94, but it was much more of a blowout than that), but they still have to travel overnight and get ready quickly for a test against the Pacers.
Still, you wouldn't put it past LeBron James and company to be feeling just fine for this visit of Indiana. LeBron is looking as domiant as ever and is showing no signs of injury or wear and tear. That's great news for Cavs fans, especially when you consider how well both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love have played at times too this season. When all three get going, this is going to be a tough team to stop, especially if they improve defensively.
Though the Cavaliers have been on fire, we actually like Indiana's chances of at least taking this game down to the wire.
As good as they're playing, the Pacers have had more rest and will be at home, and they're also very familar with Cleveland and how best to play against them. Indiana, despite all of the team's troubles, has been good defensively and has a great presence on the boards too, so that's kept them competitive quite a bit.
We look for more of the same tonight in Indiana. The Pacers just picked up a nice win over the Pistons at home and we think they'll be able to parlay that into another good effort, this time against LeBron and friends. Back Indiana to cover as underdogs and add them to your NBA picks tonight.
Free NBA Pick: Indiana Pacers +6.5 at Pinnacle