Cavaliers vs Pacers – NBA Pick for April 27th

by Rick Rockwell
on April 27, 2018

It took a last second buzzer beater from LeBron James for the Cleveland Cavaliers to win Game 5 against the Pacers. Up to that point, Indiana had done enough to win that game including erasing an 8 point deficit heading into the 4th quarter. In fact, the Pacers led at half time 56 to 49 and were poised to steal the game on Cleveland’s home court until King James won it in the end. LeBron finished with 44 points on 14-of-24 shooting, 15-of-15 from the free throw line, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. He’s now averaging 34.8 ppg, 11.4 rpg, and 8 assists per game in the series.

The question heading into Game 6 is whether or not King James can carry the team to victory once again. It’s possible that he can and the bookmakers see this too as they have put the spread at just 1 point in favor of the Pacers. This might also be because James has been the king when it comes to close out games. According to ESPN he has won 11 of them in a row. This little nugget of info makes it hard to pick against LeBron, and it’s why I choose to once again go with the Under in this series.

For the series, the Under is 5-0 and it’s 7-0-1 in the last 8 head-to-head meetings, including 5-0 in Indiana. The Under is 8-3 for the Cavs in the month of April and it’s 6-0 in the last 6 overall games for Cleveland. The Under is 8-3 in the month of April for the Pacers, 26-16 in all home games during the regular season, 14-5 on Friday nights, and 8-0-1 in their last 9 games against a team with a winning straight up record.

The Cavs are averaging 94.4 ppg while the Pacers are averaging 96.4 ppg for the series. The most combined points these teams scored in a game this series was 204 points. In the two games played on Indiana’s home court, the Pacers averaged 96 ppg and the Cavs averaged 97 ppg. The combined totals for those two games were 182 points in Game 3 and 204 points in Game 4.

If it’s not clear by now, the safe bet in Game 6 is to take the Under. Both teams play solid defense and aim to control the flow of the game. I expect the Pacers to try and force other players to beat them tonight and not allow LeBron to go for 44 points again. No other Cavs player is averaging double digit points this series other than James and Kevin Love at 11.8 ppg. If they can contain LeBron and put the pressure on the Cavs role players to score, then I like Indiana’s chances to win Game 6.

However, the Pacers will also need to improve on their 77.8% free throw shooting from Game 5 to get those buckets at the end of a tight game. As a whole, the Pacers squad is averaging more points per game than Cleveland, a higher Field Goal percentage at 47% to 43.8%, and more rebounds per game at 48.4 rpg to 46.6 rpg. They have all the tools to win this game, but will they? Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about that because we’re taking the Under.

Pick: Under 203
-110

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