Arena: Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Home Floor: Indiana Pacers
Eastern Conference has grown at a highly impressive rate this season and there is no doubt that the race for the top-six and also the Play-in tournament. With that in play, we have also seen some teams like Pistons pull off some upsets and this is what happens when a young roster has played 50-odd games and has gotten used to the intensity of the league. This current period usually sees a bunch of here-and-there results and that is due to the team chemistry and roles being clear so deep into the season, even for the teams that are bottom feeders. But that is not always the case and then once again, a young team can get back to old losing ways. And surely the Indiana Pacers have lost a ton and they meet a depleted Cleveland Cavaliers here.
The Pacers have twice as many as losses than wins and their 22-44 record indicates a struggle. They are on a two-game losing streak but have won two out of their last three games at home. The Pacers are virtually out of the Play-in tournament race unless they win at least 75-80% of their games from here, which looks unlikely with the way things are going. On the other hand, the Cavaliers have ten more wins than losses, but they have had hit a cold spell since mid-February. Things look complicated with Jarrett Allen being out and the team will need huge adjustments to fill the void. Caris LeVert has also been out and the Cavs look short-handed. However, it doesn’t mean that the team’s season is a lost cause, they surely remain favorite for the top-six spots unless the Raptors below them make a huge run. Mobley will slate in as the premier Center but who will fill in for Allen? Can the Cavs win with their depleted lineup against vulnerable Pacers? To know my game total and result prediction, go to “Expert Betting Tips”. To have a look at my player-based props prediction, jump to “Player Performance Prediction”.Claim Your Welcome Bonus!
Eastern Conference picture
Indiana Pacers have been struggling to make ends meet since the beginning of the season and this has been a rather disappointing season for a team who entered with a promising lineup but couldn’t bring in the required effort. On the other hand, the Cavaliers didn’t enter the season with many expectations but their rise has been rather out of nowhere. The team has had multiple winning streaks but their journey has been marred by injuries lately and this is a tricky window with the Playoffs nearing so this is the worst time to deal with the injuries. Despite their current losing period, the Cavaliers have managed to stay in the top-six, and they will look to hold on to that spot.
The Pacers have a deeper guard rotation with Brogdon, Hield, and Haliburton, while the former two are isolation scoring threats, Haliburton has been doing a great job as the playmaker and scorer. On the other hand, the Cavs have held one to a one-guard rotation for most of the season and with Darius Garland, they can move the ball around well. In the frontline, despite missing Jarrett Allen, the Cavs remain deep, and with Mobley, Markkanen, and Love potentially off the bench, they can still grab a bunch of rebounds, play quality defense and get a decent amount of points. However, there is no doubt that without Allen, the defense can take a huge hit but with the main five of Okoro, Markkanen, Mobley, Garland, and potentially Osman, the team has a strong defensive end. Offensively, the Pacers have more shot creators at this point with Hield, Haliburton, Brogdon and if Duarte plays, then him too.
Player Performance Prediction
Assuming they are available, these are my player-based props predictions:
- I believe Tyrese Haliburton will dish at least 8 assists;
- I see Darius Garland scoring at least 25 points;
- I believe Buddy Hield will score at least 18 points;
- I see Lauri Markkanen scoring at least 18 points;
- I believe Malcolm Brogdon will be held under 20 points;
- I see Evan Mobley scoring at least 17 points.
Expert Betting Tips
Points Range: The Cavaliers are far from an elite scoring unit and their lack of shot creators apart from Osman or Garland has limited options. On the other hand, the Pacers are loaded with shooters, slashers, and playmakers, and their offense has been way better with Hield, Brogdon, and Haliburton. Defensively, the Cavaliers have a highly effective lineup even with Jarrett Allen out because I do not doubt that Mobley will fill in well as still that big who can change shots. Meanwhile, the Pacers have been one of the worst defensive teams lately and have continued to give up 30+ points during a quarter. I believe Garland will open up lanes against the outsized Pacers team and the Cavaliers will somehow rack up at least 112 points. On the other hand, I think the Cavaliers will hold the Pacers below 110. I see the total points range in 220-230.
Prediction: The Pacers can be heavily outsized and the Cavaliers can still do a great job with Mobley, Markkanen, and Love, with Garland as the one-guard. The defense of the Cavaliers will still be formidable while the Pacers will surely challenge the perimeter closeouts. However, I see the Cavaliers shutting the shop on the defensive end and taking this game 116:106.
- Handicap 2 (-5.5) for 2.01;
- Player Props: Player Points: Lauri Markkanen Over 16.5 for 1.90;
- Total 2 Over 113.5 for 1.90.