Welcome to the Saturday, 10/27/18 edition of the NBA Best Bets column. Here, I’ll strive to identify one NBA bet for tonight I feel has profit potential at DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, 888 Sportsbook, and FoxBet Sportsbook.
Depending on the circumstance, I’ll hone in on moneylines, point spreads, or projected totals. Sometimes I may even touch on multiple metrics. Then, I’ll take you on a fairly deep dive as to why.
Please note we’ll be referencing only legal, regulated sportsbook betting odds and totals here at PlayPicks. A “pick” is a wager that, as of the time of this writing, we feel confident recommending. A “lean” is a wager that we favor over the other side. This play could end up on our card with the release of additional information.
Season to Date:
ATS Picks: 4-3 (.571)
ATS Leans: 3-0 (1.000)
Moneyline: 2-0 (1.000)
10/27/18 NBA Betting Pick:
Indiana Pacers (3-2) at Cleveland Cavaliers (0-5)
Over/Under Total: 216.5
The Pacers were one of the few teams that can truly lay claim to having the Cavaliers‘ number last season. Including the postseason, Indiana notched an impressive six victories in 11 tries over a LeBron James-led Cleveland squad. One of the more notable aspects of their success was their margin of victory at Quicken Loans Arena. Indiana managed wins by 17, 18, and 34 points in Cleveland. They also come into Saturday’s game with a pair of 20-point victories in their last three games.
The outlook isn’t anywhere near as rosy for the winless Cavaliers. They’ve yet to experience any success in their second post-LeBron era. And their worst losses have come on their home floor. Cleveland dropped a 22-point decision to the Hawks before suffering a 16-point defeat at the hands of the Nets. Unsurprisingly, Kevin Love has taken on the mantle of leadership in LeBron’s absence, boasting team highs in scoring (19.0) and rebounds (13.5). However, he could be questionable for Saturday’s game after missing Thursday’s contest against the Pistons with a foot injury.
Moreover, even with Love’s contributions, the Cavs have struggled to score. They’ll come into Saturday’s game with the sixth-lowest points per game (105.4). Then, they’ve been equally poor on the other side of the ball. They’re allowing the sixth-most points per game (118.4) and fourth-highest shooting percentage (48.9).
Victor Oladipo has been the Pacers’ linchpin for the first five games, averaging 21.4 points (on 46.1 percent shooting, including 44.4 percent from three-point range), 5.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.2 steals. While no one else has come close to Oladipo’s scoring average, Indiana does sport several other complementary offensive options: Bojan Bogdanovic (12.8 points), Domantas Sabonis (12.5 points), Tyreke Evans (12.0), and Myles Turner (11.8 points). Indiana is averaging 110.2 points and sports the sixth-highest team shooting percentage (49.2), including the highest three-point success rate (45.2 percent). They’ve been just as impressive on the other side of the ball. The Pacers are limiting opponents to the fourth-lowest shooting percentage (41.6) while also forcing 14.4 turnovers per contest.
By the Numbers: The Pacers are 28-20 (58.3 percent) against the spread as a road team since the beginning of last season, including 7-5 (58.3 percent) as road favorites. They’re also 12-6 (66.7 percent) versus the number when playing on at least two days’ rest since the beginning of last season.
The Cavaliers are an NBA-worst 17-36-1 (32.1 percent) against the spread as a home team since the beginning of last season, including 2-4 as a home favorite. Cleveland is also 25-37-1 (40.3 percent) versus the number playing with one day of rest since the beginning of last season.
The Final Word: It would stand to reason that if the Pacers were able to enjoy relative success against a Cavs team with LeBron James, they should have a cakewalk Saturday. However, the games are played on the hardwood and not paper, and Cleveland is desperate for a victory. The fact that Evans will miss this game for the Pacers due to a violation of team rules also needs to be considered; he is a key bench piece. For the moment, I will classify my selection of the Pacers as a “lean” with a likely upgrade to “pick” if Love is deemed out for the contest at some point Saturday.
The Lean: Pacers -5.5, Pacers moneyline (-240)