Cavaliers vs. Pacers NBA expert prediction and odds for Monday, March 18 (Can Indiana cover?)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Indiana Pacers' matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.
Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam.
Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam. / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers need a win on Monday night as they’ve seen their lead in the East on the No. 3 seed shrink to just two games. 

Donovan Mitchell returned for the Cavs two games ago, but the team lost on the road to the Houston Rockets on Saturday. Now, Cleveland is on the road again to take on Tyrese Haliburton and the Indiana Pacers, who have climbed into the No. 6 spot in the East. 

This game means a lot to both teams, as the Cavs want to hold on to a top-three spot (especially with Milwaukee winning on Sunday), and the Pacers are trying to avoid the play-in tournament. 

Indiana took the first two meetings between these teams, and it’ll look to clinch a win in the season series on Monday.

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Here’s a look at the latest odds and my best bet for this divisional battle: 

Cavaliers vs. Pacers odds, spread and total

Cavaliers vs. Pacers how to watch

  • Date: Monday, March 18
  • Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Gainbridge Fieldhouse
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Indiana
  • Cavs record: 42-25
  • Pacers record: 38-30

Cavaliers vs. Pacers injury reports

Cavs injury report

  • Emoni Bates – out
  • Donovan Mitchell – out
  • Ty Jerome – out
  • Evan Mobley – out
  • Isaiah Mobley – out
  • Pete Nance – out
  • Max Strus – out
  • Dean Wade – doubtful

Pacers injury report

  • Quenton Jackson – questionable 
  • Bennedict Mathurin – out
  • Doug McDermott – out
  • Isaiah Wong – questionable
  • Oscar Tshiebwe – questionable

Cavaliers vs. Pacers key players to watch

Cleveland Cavaliers

Darius Garland: With Donovan Mitchell (nasal fracture) out for this game, Garland will once again assume the No. 1 role in the Cavs offense. Garland is averaging 22.7 points, 6.5 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game in 13 games without Mitchell this season.

Indiana Pacers

Pascal Siakam: This will be Siakam’s first meeting against the Cavs as a member of the Pacers. Cleveland likely will be down Evan Mobley (ankle) – who would have been the primary defender on Siakam in this one. That’s a good sign for the Pacers, as Siakam has played well this month, averaging 19.1 points per game while shooting 51.7 percent from the field. He’s coming off a 28-point showing in a win over Brooklyn.  

Cavaliers vs. Pacers prediction and pick

The Cavs come into this game 8-6 against the spread as a road underdog, but can we really trust them without Mitchell and Mobley?

Cleveland is just 9-9 straight up when Mitchell sits this season, and the Pacers are relatively healthy – missing only Mathurin out of their usual rotation. 

While Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland have stepped up with Mitchell and Mobley out as of late, having key role players like Max Strus and Dean Wade also sidelined makes the margin of error much slimmer for the Cavs. 

Cleveland struggled – even with Mitchell – on the road against Houston on Saturday, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Indiana’s fast-paced offense get the best of the Cavs in this one. 

The Pacers are just 10-12-1 against the spread as home favorites, but I can’t take the shorthanded Cavs in this one. 

Pick: Pacers -7 (-110)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.