With Cavs' Inconsistency, Best Bet Game 1 vs. Pacers Is 'Under'

pacers cavaliers

Jordan Sharp

Friday, April 14, 2017 3:39 PM GMT

Friday, Apr. 14, 2017 3:39 PM GMT

Even though the Cavaliers fell out of the top spot in the East and struggled down the stretch, they are overwhelming favorites both in the series and in Game 1 Saturday against the Pacers, but should we tail such a struggling team?

Cavs' Struggles Carry Over?

The biggest question of these playoffs pretty much is whether the Cavaliers’ struggles will carry over into Saturday afternoon (3 ET at Quicken Loans Arena) as 8.5-point favorites vs. Indiana. Now that they are a bit more rested, there is no question that LeBron James can turn it on and start to carry this team.

However, without the other members firing on all cylinders, the Cavs won’t get very far. They can still get past the Pacers, no problem, but their second-round matchup (likely vs. Toronto) might be a problem if they keep playing poorly.

That is why I’m sure that Coach Ty Lue, LeBron and Co. know that they need to use this series to get back on track. The Pacers are a solid team, but they also have some glaring weaknesses that the Cavs are going to exploit. The Pacers are a very poor rebounding team, and with Tristan Thompson back healthy he is going to keep Myles Turner away from the basket and the Pacers out of the painted area.

Furthermore, this game being in the afternoon should affect the scoring some. We usually see defenses tighten up in the playoffs, but neither one of these teams are very good defensively. If this game turns into a shootout, it favors the Pacers more.

 

The Sharp Pick

While both of these teams have the ability to get hot from beyond the arc, in this early start and with the adrenaline of it being the first playoff game, I see this one as low scoring. Even though both clubs have been putting up some higher scoring numbers over the second half of the season, this being a playoff game should change that. Both teams will lock in defensively, and the 3 p.m. tip should hurt some of the potential for both teams getting out to a hot start.

Plus, with Lance Stephenson back and playing good minutes for the Pacers, his defense and general trolling should help keep the Cavs' offense from dropping 120 in this one. Finally, in divisional games this season the Cavs held their opponents to just 45.6% from the floor, which should be extrapolated Saturday.

Free NBA Pick: 'Under' 212.5Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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