Cleveland Cavaliers @ Indiana Pacers 3/18/24 Free Pick, NBA Odds, NBA Predictions

Cleveland Cavaliers (42-25) at Indiana Pacers (38-30)

Game Info: Monday, March 18th, 2024 at  7 p.m. EST (Bankers Life Fieldhouse)

Betting Odds: Pacers -7.5 (+100) - Over/Under (223.5)

Pick: Pacers -7.5 (+100)

Monday night takes us to the Midwest where the Cleveland Cavaliers open up the week against the Indiana Pacers. Both of these franchises had high expectations of making deep playoff runs when the season began and 2/3 of the way through the season they are both on track to do so. Both teams come into this game with winning records and both of them will be looking to leave this game with a much-needed victory. Heading into the final stretch of the regular season will be down the stretch and a loaded Eastern Conference which makes this game that much more important for Cleveland and Indiana heading into the third week of March. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been a solid team since the return of the new year, but they are dealing with plenty of injuries once again, heading down the final stretch of the season. They are hoping that these injuries do not stretch into the postseason and they are hoping that their star players have plenty of time to heal up heading into the final month and a half of the year. They come into this game with one of the best records in the conference as they have picked up 42 victories in their first 67 games of the season. This is a Cleveland team that will be looking to make up for their early exit last season in their first round loss to the New York Knicks. 

As they have plenty of gas left in the tank and plenty left to prove if they make the playoffs this season. Cleveland will likely be without Donovan Mitchell here in Indiana on Monday night as they like to pick up a victory over their Central division rivals on the road. This feels like a must win game for Cleveland as they have been struggling as of late and they will need to get back on track heading into the final two weeks of March. If they do not get things going in the right direction once again, they risk slipping out of a top four spot in the conference, and miss out on hosting their first round playoff series.

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The Indiana Pacers have been solid this season however, they have struggled a bit coming out of the All-Star break. Thanks to the decline and play by their All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana has found themselves on the losing end more often than not since coming out of the break. That is a cycle that they will need to break and they will need to get back on the right track heading into the final few weeks of the regular season. Indiana comes into this game eight games above the .500 mark through their first 68 games of the season. 

As they come into this one with 38 victories on the year, and  they will look for their 39th victory of the season here on Monday night at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers. With the Indiana Pacers fully healthy for this game at home, they have a distinct advantage against the Cleveland Cavaliers here in this one. They will look to take advantage of that and pick up a much-needed victory here in this one to defend their home court where they’ve been very tough to beat this season. Indiana is currently sitting in the bottom half of the top part of the standings at sixth place as they are holding onto a playoff spot by the tip of their fingers heading into the final few weeks of the regular season. 

Betting trends to consider in this matchup:

- Indiana is 21-14 at home

- Indiana is 10-3 against the division 

- Indiana is 2-0 against Cleveland this season 

This will be the third of four meetings between Cleveland and Indiana here on Monday night. So far this season, the Indiana Pacers have had the Cleveland Cavaliers number, picking up two victories in two previous games against them. The last time these two teams met was in Indiana, and the Pacers came away with a five point victory and I expect more of the same here and this one as well. As I look for the Indiana Pacers to not only pick up the victory here on Monday night against Cleveland but I also look for them to cover the spread in the process.

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