Cavaliers vs. Pacers Free NBA Picks for March 8

Malcolm Brogdon #7 of the Indiana Pacers dribbles up the court. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP.

The post-trade Indiana Pacers have the right tools to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA odds this Tuesday at the Fieldhouse.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers 

Tuesday, March 08, 2022 – 07:00 PM EST at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

The Indiana Pacers had to trade one of their big men. In the modern NBA, having two centers like Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner sharing the floor just doesn’t seem to work; once Turner went on the injured list with a stress reaction in his left foot, Sabonis became Indiana’s biggest trading chip – and what a return they got from the Sacramento Kings.

The Cleveland Cavaliers also made an interesting trade ahead of the February 10 deadline – and it was with the Pacers. But it’s the Sabonis deal that will have the bigger effect on Tuesday’s NBA odds, where Cleveland has opened as 4.5-point road favorites at SBK. That leaves the Pacers available at a bargain price now that they’ve re-balanced their roster.

Escape From Sacramento

Here are the details on that trade with Sacramento, from a player perspective:

In: Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Tristan Thompson
Out: Domantas Sabonis, Jeremy Lamb, Justin Holiday

Letting Sabonis go was tough for Indiana (22-44 SU, 29-34-3 ATS). He was their best player this year, as he was the previous two seasons when he made the All-Star team. But look at what the Pacers got in return. Thompson was waived after four games; this is about Haliburton and Hield – especially Haliburton, who was Sacramento’s best player before he got traded.

Haliburton is one of the most promising young players in the league. The former Iowa State Cyclone has avoided the dreaded sophomore slump after making the All-Rookie team last year, and his performance has only improved since arriving in Indianapolis. However, the Pacers are still 3-7 SU and 4-6 ATS with Haliburton in the starting lineup, where he joins Hield and incumbent point guard Malcolm Brogdon.

Allen Key

It’s the Cavaliers (37-27 SU, 36-26-2 ATS) who are tilting our NBA picks in Indiana’s favor. They’re just 3-6 SU and ATS since the trade deadline, although they did start that run with a 120-113 victory over Indiana as 6.5-point road faves; Brogdon didn’t play for the Pacers that day.

Caris LeVert did play for the Cavaliers, though. LeVert came over from Indiana in exchange for Ricky Rubio and some draft picks, giving Cleveland some much-needed backcourt help after both Rubio and Collin Sexton had their seasons cut short by knee injuries. Unfortunately, LeVert has struggled to integrate himself with the Cavs, and he’s missed the last five games with a sprained right foot. The Cavs are 2-3 SU and ATS during this stretch.

If that weren’t bad enough for Cleveland, breakout All-Star center Jarrett Allen is out indefinitely with a broken finger. Allen has been a rock for the Cavaliers, and arguably their best player – Kevin Love has also been a beast off the bench, although it looks like he’ll be in the starting lineup Tuesday, with rookie Evan Mobley moving from the 4-spot to cover for Allen. Combine that with All-Star point guard Darius Garland playing through a bruised back, and you get a premium opportunity for Indiana to kick the Cavs while they’re down. Bet accordingly.

NBA Pick: Pacers +4.5 (–110) at SBK