Indiana at Cleveland Odds, Betting Pick & TV InfoWhen: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 7 PM ET Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland TV: ESPN Stream: WatchESPN Radio: Indiana / Cleveland NBA Odds: Cavaliers favored by TBA
Why Bet on Indiana?The Pacers can really use the break as they are struggling at the moment, especially defensively. In addition, the team is without small forward Thaddeus Young due to a sprained left wrist. Monday marked mark Young’s sixth straight game on the sidelines and he’s not likely to play until after the break. Young is averaging 11.5 points and 6.1 rebounds. Lavoy Allen continues to start for him.
The Pacers shoot 3-pointers at a higher percentage than opponents, but they have hit 100 fewer of them this season. That’s 300 points that have to be made up elsewhere, and since they don’t get to the foul line as often as opponents, it puts a heavy burden on their two-point scoring. Being outscored heavily behind the arc has been the trend in most of the team’s “bad” losses this season, such as the homecourt loss to Phoenix in December, when they were outscored by 24 points on 3-point shots, or the October loss in Brooklyn, when they were outscored by nine points.
CJ Miles was inserted into the starting lineup on Jan. 23. Since that point, the Pacers are 7-5 and Miles is averaging 12.0 points per game while shooting 44.2 percent from three-point range. While resuming his bench role, Glenn Robinson III has averaged 6.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game and has shot 65.0 percent from the field (26-40 FG, 7-11 3FG) over the same span.
Indiana is currently 13th in the NBA this season in scoring while averaging 105.6 points per game, an improvement of 3.4 points per game over its average of 102.2 points per game during the 2015-16 campaign. The Pacers are 16-3 this season when scoring 110 or more points and 6-0 when they score 120 or more points.
This season marks the first time the Pacers have averaged more than 105 points per game since they scored 105.1 points per game during the 2008-09 season. The last time the Pacers averaged at least 106.0 points per game was the 1992-93 season when Indiana scored 107.8 points per game. Indiana has lost five straight road meetings at Cleveland dating back to the 2013-14 season. The Pacers’ last win at Cleveland came on Jan. 5, 2014.
Why Bet on Cleveland?The Cavs will go into the break with the best record in the Eastern Conference, which was pretty much expected. This will be the second of a back-to- back for Cleveland. It didn’t have All-Star forward Kevin Love on Tuesday in Minnesota and won’t here, either. Love is seeking a second opinion on his injured left knee. The 28-year- old complained of soreness and had swelling following Saturday’s win over Denver.
Love did have an MRI on his knee, but the results have yet to be released, and the fact that he’s seeking a second opinion isn’t a great sign. Love, who is averaging 20 points and 11.1 rebounds for the defending NBA champions, is scheduled to play for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star game Sunday.
Meanwhile, J.R. Smith’s recovery from right thumb surgery has reportedly been going very well, and there’s a chance he could return to the court within the next three weeks. Smith will reportedly have his surgically repaired right thumb re-imaged during the All-Star break, and if all goes well, his timetable to return could be adjusted. If Smith is able to get back to the court by mid-March, that would give him roughly 16 games to get himself back up to speed before Cleveland’s postseason run. Smith is averaging 8.6 points per game on 33.7 percent shooting from the field and 36.2 percent from beyond the arc.
The Cavs made a trade on Monday in sending Chris “Birdman” Andersen, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury in December, and cash to the Hornets to open up a roster spot. By opening up a roster spot, the Cavs believe they will have opportunities to be the third team in a three-team trade. The Cavs have been open about trying to find an additional point guard or rim protector to steel their squad for a potential third straight trip to the NBA Finals.
Kyle Korver (1996 3FGM), who is shooting .500 (44-88) from deep with the Cavs (12-14 3FG in last three games), is 4 three-pointers away from becoming the 7th player in NBA history to hit 2,000 triples. Cleveland has also knocked down at least 15 three-pointers in five of their six February games and is shooting .450 (91-202) from beyond the arc this month. On the season, they have connected on 15 threes or more on 17 occasions, a franchise single season record.
Kyrie Irving is averaging 26.8 points, 5.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 37.0 minutes over the last four games. He has scored 20 or more points in 38 of his 47 appearances this season, including each of the last four outings. His most 20-point games in a single season are 45 (2014-15).