Betting on Tough NBA Matchup: Spurs vs. Cavaliers

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 2:50 PM GMT

LeBron James meets with a familar foe in the San Antonio Spurs tonight, and the NBA betting odds show the Cavaliers favored. Who should we back with our sports picks?

Odds Overview
At the moment, the Cavs are favored by 2.5 points on the NBA odds. Some sites have a spread of two available for those that are liking Cleveland.

The O/U is currently quoted at 202.5, so clearly odds makers are expecting an up-and-down contest with plenty of points.

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Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavaliers had their four-game winning streak come to a close back on Monday in a 106-97 home loss to Denver. Their overall record stands at 5-4. It was a surprising outcome, considering Cleveland came in hot and Denver had been struggling mightily. But, the Cavaliers couldn't get much going and were unable to eclipse the 100-point mark - they shot 43.0 percent from the floor overall and were 10-of-29 (34.5 percent) from the 3-point line.

The Big Three stood out again, but it still wasn't enough. LeBron had 22 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two blocks, Kevin Love had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Kyrie Irving dropped a 20/8/4 line with two steals. Dion Waiters added 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting off the bench, but Cleveland struggled to get offense from any other sources.

The Cavaliers also had trouble defensively, and that's been a common theme throughout the year. They're allowing 104.3 points per game, which ranks them 24th in the NBA. They've been scoring more than enough points (106.7 PPG) to make up for their shortcomings defensively, but it's a worrying issue nonetheless. We don't expect much to change though, considering Cleveland simply doesn't have a good defensive makeup - only LeBron is a plus defender at his position, so the Cavs are going to have to keep killing it offensively to pile up the wins.

 

San Antonio Spurs
Though they're "only" 6-4 this season, the Spurs will be just fine. It's common for them to take the regular season easy in hopes of keeping their best players fresh for the playoffs. Expect more of the same this season. San Antonio has already been extra cautious early on, and it's going to keep happening wherever coach Gregg Popovich seems fit.

Ahead of tonight, the Spurs come in having won four of their last five, with wins over the 76ers, Clippers, Warriors and Lakers. Their one loss came in Sacramento.

On Monday night, San Antonio had little trouble getting past Philadelphia in an easy 100-75 victory. The game was pretty much over after one quarter, as the Spurs were already up 30-13, and from there it was smooth sailing. Pop's team shot 44.4 percent overall and held a pitiful Philadelphia squad to 32.5 percent shooting.  Individually, Matt Bonner picked up a rare start and scored 18 points, with Tim Duncan, Danny Green, Aron Baynes and Cory Joseph scoring in double figures as well. All 12 active Spurs got to play at least 12 minutes in the rout.

Want more? Take a look at today's biggest games here.

Free NBA Pick
What a tough call...

That being said, we are recommending a play on Cleveland for a couple reasons.

For one, it's hard to be prepared for what we're going to get out of the Spurs. They're an incredibly frustrating team to gauge, as you never actually know who's going to be active and who's going to sit, that is until just before tipoff. San Antonio seems to be competitive regardless of who plays, but it's still a tricky proposition.

Then there's the fact we believe this to be a good bounce-back spot for the Cavaliers. They were just embarassed at home by Denver and will want to get back on track, and we think they'll get up for this game against the defending champions. Take Cleveland as your NBA pick to cash as small favorites.

Free NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers -2 at 5Dimes