A pair of lottery bound teams square off tonight in Cleveland when the Cavs and Pistons tangle. Tip-off is 7:00 PM ET at Quicken Loans Arena where sports books have listed Cleveland as the small NBA betting favorite.

NBA betting shops have favored the Cavs by -1 with the total at 191.5. Detroit sits last in the Central Division, trailing Chicago by 22 games. The Cavaliers are next to last and 21 games behind the Chicago Bulls. Chicago does face off against the Atlanta Hawks tonight, and capper Joe Freda has picked the Hawks to cover the 4.5 point spread. 

Lets go over the NBA odds for this matchup and decide if we have better value placing our NBA picks on the total or the spread.

Cavaliers vs. PistonsBesides offering some attractive wagering opportunities, the game will also feature two of the best rookie point guards in the game. College rivals Kyrie Irving (Duke) and Brandan Wright (Kentucky) who were both selected in the first round of the recent NBA draft, will square off. Irving was the No.1 overall selection from the class of 2012 and is averaging 18.6 points, 5.7 assists and nearly four rebounds per game. He’s been one of the few bright spots for Cleveland (17-30 SU, 23-24 ATS) which is headed for yet another losing season but hopes that the team can build off Irving and his All-Star caliber talent.

Wright was the 8th overall pick in the draft, and although his numbers are pale in comparison to Irving’s, he’s been a solid addition. The former Wildcat is averaging 12.5 points and 3.7 assists per game. Detroit is equally optimistic that with a deep draft class coming in that they’ll be able to secure a solid player to put in the mix along with Wright and Rodney Stuckey.

P.S. Knight has done some of his best work against the Cavaliers. He’s averaging 23.5 points on 72.0 percent shooting against Cleveland - his best marks against any opponent in his first year. He outscored Irving 23-14 in a 105-89 home loss Dec. 28 in the team’s first meeting of the year.

Cavs get clobbered

In Philadelphia, the Cavs were on the wrong end of a 103-85 blowout. Jodie Meeks, the former Kentucky Wildcat, scored a career-high 31 points, and Jrue Holiday added 19 for the Sixers. Meeks starting in place of the injured Andre Iguodala (left patella tendinitis) drained seven of his 10 attempts from beyond the arc. He also became the second Philadelphia player this year to reach the 30-point mark.

Cleveland couldn’t get much going offensively shooting just 40 percent against the league’s No. 1 defense. Anthony Parker scored 14 points for the Cavaliers, who dropped their fourth straight. Irving is starting to show signs of wearing down. He made just 4 of 13 shots for 12 points and seven assists against the Sixers and is averaging 13.7 points in his last three games.

Pistons misfire

In their last outing on Tuesday night, Detroit survived a 36.8 percent shooting effort to beat the Wizards in Washington 79-77. Rodney Stuckey led the Pistons with 24 points while Tayshaun Prince added 18. Greg Monroe contributed a double-double, 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Motown Five who improved to 5-20 on the road.


This will be the third meeting of the year with Cleveland looking for its third straight win. The Cavs took the series opener on December 28, 105-89, easily covering as a +5.5 point road underdog. Then on February 22, Cleveland beat Detroit 101-100 with the Pistons cashing as a 2-point dog.

Detroit is on a 4-0 ‘under’ streak and 13-12 to the low side on the road. The ‘under’ is 20-6 in the last 26 series meetings.

The Cavaliers are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games overall.

Harvey’s Take: I believe we’ve got two strong plays tonight with Cleveland and the ‘under’. I’m going to play a little bit on both.

Good luck!