The Cleveland Cavaliers are now firmly in control of their first-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers. They have LeBron James to thank for their 3-2 series lead. He provided the heroics in Game 5 after blocking Victor Oladipo’s shot and hitting a last-second three-pointer.
The Pacers were in control early with a 2-1 series lead. But they’ve since relinquished their lead and now face elimination on their home court.
Can Indiana win to even up the series and force a deciding seventh game? Find out as I look at the odds and discuss both teams chances of covering and winning. Also note that you can wager on this game at GTBets.
Cavs Pacers Odds – Game 6 of First Round Playoffs Series (April 27 at 5:05pm)
- Cleveland +1 (-110) / -104 moneyline
- Indiana -1 (-108)/ -118 moneyline
- Over 204 (-108)
- Under 204 (-110)
Why Cleveland Will Cover +1
Cleveland didn’t have an ideal regular season, finishing 50-32 and earning the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. But many expected that they’d easily get past the Indiana Pacers since they swept them last year.
That hasn’t even been close to the case so far. Cleveland has either surrendered huge leads or had to claw back from big deficits. The latter was the case in Game 5, because they were down by 7 points at halftime.
The Cavs controlled the third quarter by outscoring Indiana 32-17. But then they let the Pacers back into the contest and needed James’ three-point shot to win in the end.
It’s fitting that LeBron saved Cleveland, considering that he’s averaging 34.8 PPG, 11.4 RPG, and 8 APG in this series. He’s gotten decent contributions from teammates like Kevin Love (11.8 PPG, 10.4 RPG) and Kyle Korver (9.8 PPG). But the consistency hasn’t been there for the entire team, and they don’t have a true No. 2 scoring option.
Nevertheless, it seems that LeBron has been all they’ve needed to get close victories. He scored 44 points to help Cleveland win Game 5 in the Q. And he poured in 32 points to help the Cavs to a 104-100 victory in Game 4.
The Cavs now have the lead and two chances to eliminate a club that James has vanquished many times in the past. If they can get any extra help for LeBron, then they can win Game 6. All eyes are on Love, who’s been held to single digits in two of the five contests so far.
Cavs Playoffs ATS: Cleveland is 1-4 ATS in this series, including 1-1 on the road. They have a terrible home ATS record this season (12-27-2) but have been more consistent on the road (18-22-1).
Why Indiana Will Cover -1
Indiana may not be leading this series, but the numbers are on their side. They’ve gone 5-4 against Cleveland this season. The Pacers also have stronger team defense (104.2 PPG allowed vs. 109.9 PPG) and a decidedly better turnover margin (21.2 vs. 17.2).
Nate McMillan has done a good job coaching this squad. In fact, Indiana is easily the biggest surprise of the 2017-18 season.
One big reason for their success is the play of Victor Oladipo, who’s become an All-Star after middling seasons in Orlando and Oklahoma City. He leads the Pacers in the series with averages of 20.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 5.2 APG.
But they’re going to need him to play better than he has in the last two contests. Oladipo is just 10-for-30 from the field and 4-of-16 from three-point range in this spin.
The good news for Indiana is that, unlike Cleveland, they can count on consistent contributions from non-star players. Bojan Bogdanovic is scoring 14.8 PPG in this series, while Myles Turner is averaging 13.4 PPG and 5.8 RPG.
Assuming Oladipo can get hot again, and Turner and Bogdanovic continue playing well, then Indiana has a good chance to win this game and extend series.
Indiana Playoffs ATS: The Pacers have surprised many, including myself, in this series. They’re 4-1 ATS in this so far, including 1-1 ATS at home. They’ve exceeded expectations all year with a 47-35 ATS mark, including a 24-17 ATS home record.
Final Thoughts on Cavs Pacers Odds
Indiana has certainly been a feel-good story for the season. A team that most experts picked to finish in the lottery, this squad rose to the fifth seed and has pushed Cleveland further than anybody expected.
The Cavs, on the other hand, have yet to play up to their capabilities. James can never count on a good sidekick on a nightly basis. Considering how subpar Cleveland has played throughout the series, they haven’t put it all together yet. But I can see this happening in Game 6, especially if starting point guard George Hill (back) returns to the lineup.
Final Score Prediction: Cleveland wins 99-95 – Cavs cover +1 spread.