Lock 'Under' 191.5 in Cavaliers vs. Heat With Your NBA Picks

Jason Lake

Saturday, December 5, 2015 11:30 AM GMT

The Cleveland Cavaliers make their first visit to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat. The Cavs might be too tired to belong in your NBA picks.

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Dec. 5: 8-8 ATS, 1-0 Total

 

That was a hell of a basketball game. The Cleveland Cavaliers and New Orleans Pelicans went down to the wire Friday night, then they went past the wire into overtime, but the Pelicans (+4.5 at home) eventually prevailed 114-108. That result knocks the Cavaliers (13-6 SU, 7-12 ATS) out of first place in the Eastern Conference. They're 1-4 ATS in their last five games. Teeth are being clenched, and other body parts.

The Cavaliers had better find their happy place, because they're right back on the bike for Saturday's game (8:00 p.m. ET, NBA-TV) against the Miami Heat – and it's in Miami, too. I'm sure they'll roll out the red carpet for LeBron James. The Heat (11-6 SU, 8-9 ATS) have been lying in wait since Thursday's 97-95 upset win over the Oklahoma City Thunder (–4 away); they're 2-point home faves on our NBA odds, up from –1.5 at the open.

 

Less Is Mo
The Cavs don't give a flying fig about their betting value. They're just trying to keep their heads above water until Kyrie Irving gets back in the lineup, which should be around Christmas time. To that end, Matthew Dellavedova (14.1 PER, –0.5 BPM) was given the start at point guard Friday night, while Mo Williams (17.0 PER, +1.1 BPM) came in off the bench.

Interesting move. Dellavedova may be a better fit on the first unit, where James is basically playing point forward, and it might be a good idea to get Williams accustomed to the second unit for when Irving gets back. However, Dellavedova played 42 minutes on Friday. Williams played 23. The box score will tell you Delly had the better day, but the Cavs might not be making the most efficient use of their assets between now and Irving's return.

 

Deng Fever
So this will be James' first game back at You-Know-Where. These two teams met in Cleveland on Oct. 30, with the Cavs winning 102-92 as 5.5-point favorites; Miami's excellent starting five did its job, but the Heat bench was awful. This was just the second game of the regular season, mind you. We didn't know Amar'e Stoudemire (minus-16 in 12 minutes) wasn't NBA-ready, or that Tyler Johnson (18.1 PER, +3.4 BPM) was.

One other important difference for Saturday: Luol Deng (13.9 PER, +1.9 BPM) is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury that's kept him out of Miami's last four games. Gerald Green (7.9 PER, –5.0 BPM) has been starting in Deng's place. Green has had his moments, but we'd feel a lot more comfortable about recommending the Heat for your NBA picks if Deng were playing instead. So we'll take the UNDER instead. It's 14-3 for Miami this year, and the Cavs should be too tired to do much about it.

NBA Pick: UNDER 191.5 at BetOnline

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