This was not how it was supposed to be. Cleveland owns a 19-18 record and those constructing sports picks along with NBA basketball handicappers are well aware the Cavaliers are 4-14 ATS since Dec. 9
Cleveland is 1-7 SU and ATS since three days after Christmas and King James is not on the court being injured and Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving look very much like bit players on a failing team.
The Cavs continue their road trip and despite LeBron James participating more in practice yesterday, he is still expected to be in street clothes tonight, not putting the NBA odds in the Cavaliers favor in Sac-Town.
Cleveland Remaking Roster with Hopes of Improved Results
It turns out LeBron might be king but he’s not Superman and all those trips to the NBA Finals have finally taken a toll on his body and he needed a break. Of course that is not what the Cavaliers ownership paid for and certainly not the fans of the team. Almost from Day 1 when the games started counting, the lack of team chemistry has been an issue, with Love and Irving not fitting in, coach David Blatt seemingly as unsure as his players and losing Anderson Varejao.
Trading for J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert feels like making the best desperate trade possible, though the addition of Timofey Mozgoz seems like a sage move.
With reports James will return sometime this next week, it is time for Love to start acting like and playing like an All- Star. Love had 11 shots in the Golden State loss on Friday and with him supposed to be the second-best player on the roster, he needs to assert himself instead of letting others jack up shot attempts.
Sacramento Continues to be a Horrible Wager
Losing DeMarcus Cousins to viral meningitis for weeks was a huge blow to the Kings and with other bench injuries, Sacramento’s front office made a rather abrupt firing of head coach Michael Malone.
The fallout has not only affected the team, but several individuals as well. Cousins has stated he feels “personally responsible”, though there was nothing he could have done. Veteran Rudy Gay has talked about feeling “betrayed” with Malone’s departure since this was a big reason why he re-upped with the Kings and is now feeling “lost” in Tyrone Corbin’s offensive and defensive structure.
Corbin is trying to stay above the fray, but with starters trying to understand their new roles and bench players coming and going because of injury, the situation is extremely unsettled.
“We’re trying to mix the guys in and keep some guys on the floor with different combinations of guys,” Corbin said. “So as we grow that, we want to make sure we’re not losing momentum and actually increasing some advantage when the second group is in the ballgame.”
Those working the betting odds to generate NBA picks are making a mint betting against the Kings, who are an unconceivable 2-16-2 ATS (6-14 SU) since the last day of November.
Betting Odds and Head to Head
Sacramento opened at -3.5 at most sportsbooks and was pushed to -3, with the total pretty steady at 205.5. The Kings have won the last two meetings at home with Cleveland, covering once.
After this clash, Cleveland continues their five-game West swing with three games in four days starting in Phoenix on Tuesday. At least the Cavaliers will not have to keep traveling once they arrive in Los Angeles, with back to back contests with the Lakers and Clippers at the Staples Center. The Cavs are 8-11 and 6-13 ATS with a day off.
Sacramento is in the midst of a delightful six-game homestand. The Kings welcome in Dallas on Tuesday and don’t play again until Friday and Saturday versus Miami and the Clippers. Sac-Town is 8-12 and 10-9-1 ATS with a single day between court appearances.
This matchup is about choosing the lesser of two evils. Both teams have not been worth a hoot against the spread of late and the Cavaliers are 6-11 ATS on the road this season and Kings have been like court jesters at 6-13-1 at what seems appropriately named - Sleep Train Arena.
In reviewing the various team pages on both clubs, the general attitude of Cleveland is more upbeat, thus I’ll take the points with a team that feels better about itself in a contest of drifting franchises.
NBA Basketball Free Pick – Cleveland +2.5 at 5Dimes