Cavs -7.5 Is Our NBA Pick As Exhausted Raptors Get Smacked Around

Kevin Stott

Monday, January 4, 2016 12:07 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 12:07 PM UTC

The Toronto Raptors & Cleveland Cavaliers collide on Monday night. Join as us we break down the NBA odds and get our NBA picks for the night.

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Final Score Prediction: Cavaliers 110 Raptors 94
NBA Picks: Cavaliers -7½, Over 191½
Best Lines Offered: at Bookmaker


Odds Overview
Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers [Tuesday 00:10] (Fox Sports Ohio, Sportsnet ONE, NBA League Pass 1, Directv 660 (US), 7:05 p.m. EST/4:05 p.m. PST): LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers (22-9 SU, 14-1 Home) welcome Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Toronto Raptors (21-14 SU, 10-9 Road) to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Monday night in a big Eastern Conference showdown between the current first- and third-place teams in the standings and the second of three meetings between the two teams this 2015/16 Regular Season. NBA odds have opened the host Cavaliers as 8-point favorites (Pinnacle) with the game’s Total (Points) set at 192 (Pinnacle) while the Money Line odds see Cleveland priced at -350 (BetVictor) with the visiting Raptors lined at +270 on the takeback. The Cleveland Cavaliers Team Total Points has been set at 100 (BetVictor) with the Toronto Raptors Team Total Points at 92 (BetVictor) while the 1st Half odds see the host Cavaliers as 4-point favorites (-115, Bookmaker) with the 1st Half Total at 95½ (Over -115, Bookmaker).


Toronto Raptors
Led by the the dynamic Guard duo of Kyle Lowry and De Marcus DeRozan, the Toronto Raptors (20-15 ATS, 10-9 Road) and Head Coach Dwane Casey have played about as well as one would expect so far this season, and, like the Cavaliers, have held their own at Home (11-6) and played a little above average basketball on the Road (10-8). Toronto (20/1 to win Eastern Conference, Ladbrokes) sits on top of the lowly Atlantic Division by 2 games over Avery Bradley and the Boston Celtics (18-16) and the Dinosaurs had W4 of their L5 games heading into Sunday’s tough Loss in Chicago against the Bulls, where Toronto led most of the way and by 12 at Halftime, but fell late at the United Center, 115-113. In that game, the visiting Raptors (50/1 to win NBA Championship, Sportingbet) started Jonas Valanciunas at Center—back from a Hand injury—PF Luis Scola (22 points), SF DeMarre Carroll (10 points)—back from a Knee injury—and Kyle Lowry (22 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists) and DeMar DeRozan (24 points) at the Guard spots, but the visitors only got 13 points from their Bench in the tough Loss. But this team has been playing decent Hoops of late and finally has the five guys on the floor, but needs to get guys like C Bismack Biyombo, F Terrence Ross, G Cory Joseph, PF Patrick Patterson, PF James Johnson and C Lucas Nogueira contributing consistently on a night-to-night basis—the Toronto Bench was great against the Hornets the game before—and feeling good about their respective roles for this decent team.


Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers (13-17-1 ATS, W3) and Head Coach David Blatt have been very predictable so far the NBA Regular Season, winning at Home and losing on the Road in the games you think they would, including the Christmas Day NBA Finals rematch with Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in Oakland (Cavs lost, 89-83). Right now LeBron James & Company come into this game on a 3-game Win Streak and the Cavaliers have been good both SU (8-2) as well as ATS (6-3-1) over their L10, and face a team in Toronto playing on the second straight night of Road back-to-backs against very tough Eastern Conference foes (Bulls, Cavaliers). Former PF Tristan Thompson moved to starting Center three games ago and getting electric PG Kyrie Irving back on the court has helped the Cavaliers to this 3-game roll, but beating the Phoenix Suns (Road), Denver Nuggets (Road) and Orlando Magic (Home) just doesn’t have the same cache it once did in the NBA. In fact this season, it seems like it has absolutely no cache at all. Expect the defending Eastern Conference champions and current Central Division leaders (Cavaliers 16-6 vs Eastern Conference to be ready and almost lying in wait in this spot as Cleveland (-187 to win Eastern Conference, Sportingbet) will be riding that 3-game Win Streak and more rested with 1-Day Rest (7-6 ATS) than the Raptors (4-3 ATS on 0 Days Rest) who played in Chicago on Sunday, lost a close one after leading most of the 2nd Half and then taking a flight to Cleveland (losing 1 Hour going from CST to EST) and then getting a hotel there. This Win Streak, the Home Site (Quicken Loans Arena, 18-1 SU) and this Rest Advantage are all pluses for the Cavaliers (+320 to win NBA Championship, Sportingbet).


Series Trends, Logical Reasoning & Picks
The last meeting between these two teams came in Toronto earlier this season (Nov. 25) and after a 49-49 deadlock at Halftime, the Raptors outscored the Cavaliers by 2 points in the 3rd Quarter and 2 points in the 4th Quarter to eke out a 103-99 victory, covering ATS as 3-point underdogs. These two teams have alternated ATS W’s and L’s over the L8 meetings—this silly Trend says that it’s the Cavs turn to cover—and boast two of the best six Defenses in the NBA, and although that may be points to taking the Under, Cleveland (99.8 PPG) will be rested and the Raptors could be tired. You’d be tired too if a big-ass Meteor wiped your species out, bruh. Trend-wise, the Under is 9-0 ATS in the Cavaliers L9 against the Eastern Conference and the Under is 13-3 ATS the L16 Cavaliers games overall, so you can see why Oddsmakers have made the Total so (perceptively) low although the Over is 22-8 the L30 Raptors games against the NBA Central, including Sunday’s 228-point affair in the Windy City and the first meeting between these two which saw 202 points (Total 200½) and an Over. The Over is just 4-6 the L10 in this series but has hit the L3 straight (UUUUOUUOOO).

As far as Trends and the Side, they actually sort of point to the Raptors here, with the Underdog a mind-boggling 15-3 ATS the L18 in this series (83.3%) and Cleveland just 2-7 ATS the L9 against the NBA Atlantic Division, including that aforementioned first meeting in Canada last year. But Toronto is just 5-11-2 ATS its L17 games played on Mondays and a good portion of the Emotional and Physical edges go to Cleveland here, including seeking Revenge after that close Loss in the first meeting in Toronto, the Home site, the Win Streak and that powerful (here) 1-Day Rest—Cavaliers 7-6 ATS 1-Day Rest, Raptors 4-3 ATS 0 Days Rest—which carries much more weight when also losing an Hour in a 24-hour day, traveling and also having to think about that game in Chicago you just lost to the Bulls you should have won. But perhaps the biggest edge here is the Benches and the expected point support here. Raptors starters Lowry and DeRozan can only do so much for Toronto and although healthy and not scared of Cleveland and LeBron James (25.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 5.9 apg) in the least—and match up fairly well—but Toronto’s Bench just can’t match the consistency that PG Matthew Dellavedova (8.6 ppg), PG Mo Williams (11.6 ppg), SF Richard Jefferson (6.687 ppg) do, and this can be a problem for the Raptors with matchups against the Cavaliers not only Monday night, but possibly somewhere down the line in the NBA’s Eastern Conference Playoffs. Depth and Rosters often matter much more in professional sports than many sports gamblers think. For your NBA picks, expect that Rest, Revenge, Rosters and Travel to all contribute to visitors Toronto getting smacked around in Cleveland in a relatively high-scoring affair, partly because Toronto may be a bit tired and partly because Cleveland is semi-rested, but also because the host Cavaliers have so many guys they can get points from including oft-overlooked starters PF Kevin Love (16.5 ppg) and SG JR Smith (10.4 ppg)—guys that might asked to be leading scorers on other less-stacked NBA teams like the Timberwolves or Knicks. Mr. James casts a long shadow.

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