Indiana Pacers vs Cleveland Cavaliers Preview (12/16/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

The Pacers and Cavaliers, two sharp-shooting teams that can get hot at any moment, will duke it out in Cleveland on Friday night. Check out the matchup preview below, which features an analysis and breakdown of the game, including relevant injuries, projected starting lineups, and current odds.

Indiana Pacers Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Odds

The Indiana Pacers are eight-point road dogs against Cleveland on Friday. Daniel Theis is still out for Indiana, Kendall Brown suffered a stress reaction in his leg, and Chris Duarte is still rehabbing his ankle injury. For Cleveland, it will miss Dylan Windler, Ricky Rubio, and Dean Wade. The Cavaliers will have all other key rotational players available.

Indiana Pacers Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction

The massive trade for Donovan Mitchell will pay off for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Through their first 29 games, the Cavs have gone 18-11, which places them third in the Eastern Conference; they are only behind Milwaukee and Boston.

Cleveland’s success this season has been mainly due to its dominance at home, where it has won 12 of 14 games. The Cavs’ defensive rating of 106.4 and an offensive rating of 117.1 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse results in a net rating of +10.7, which is even better than the Boston Celtics.

There’s good news and bad news, though. The bad news is that Cleveland isn’t playing this efficiently on the road, and the good news is that this is another home game for the Cavs.

Meanwhile, the Indiana Pacers have surpassed even the most optimistic expectations from experts and fans alike. They are above .500, with a 15-14 record, and wins over the Golden State Warriors (twice), Brooklyn Nets (twice), Miami Heat, and New Orleans Pelicans.

Indiana has relied heavily on pace (fourth in NBA) and three-point shooting (10th in 3P%) to keep it in games. Point guard Tyrese Haliburton has put together an All-Star-caliber season, averaging 20 points, 11 assists, four rebounds, and two steals on a 48/40/86 shooting split.

Rookie Benn Mathurin has stepped up in significant minutes off the bench; he could be in the running for Rookie of the Year or Sixth Man of the Year if he continues improving. The Pacers are not rolling over this season like many believed they would; they have a chance to win any game they play.

Cleveland is a great team and covers exceptionally well at home, but this line has me a bit dumbfounded. While I don’t expect the Pacers to win this basketball game, eight points is an excessively wide spread for a team that’s playing over .500 basketball. The Cavs will dominate the boards and cause Indiana some problems with their defensive intensity, but the Pacers have enough shooting and scoring ability on the floor to keep this one close. I’ll take the Cleveland Moneyline, but the ‘Cers against the spread.

Betting Trends

  • Indiana is 7-7 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Cleveland is 11-2-1 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 24-33-1 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

The key matchup in this game will feature both teams’ frontcourts and the battle of the boards. Check out below which team has an inherent advantage in rebounding the ball and protecting the paint!

Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Battle of the Boards

Indiana should roll out its bigger lineup versus the Cavs. In the past few games, the Pacers played small ball with a starting lineup of Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Aaron Nesmith, Andrew Nembhard, and Myles Turner. More than likely, Jalen Smith will take the place of Andrew Nembhard or Aaron Nesmith.

Even with this change to the starting lineup, the Pacers are still in a rough position regarding rebounding. Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen have helped the Cavaliers maintain the fourth-best total rebounding rate in the entire NBA. On the other hand, Indiana ranks 25th in the same statistic.

Indiana Pacers Starting Lineup

PG: Tyrese Haliburton
SG: Buddy Hield
SF: Aaron Nesmith
PF: Jalen Smith
C: Myles Turner

Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineups

PG: Darius Garland
SG: Donovan Mitchell
SF: Lamar Stevens
PF: Evan Mobley
C: Jarrett Allen

Key Injuries

Indiana Pacers Injuries: Chris Duarte (Out), Daniel Theis (Out), Kendall Brown (Out)

Cleveland Cavaliers Injuries: Dylan Windler (Out), Ricky Rubio (Out), Dean Wade (Out)

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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