NBA Betting Value with Bucks vs. Banged-Up Cavaliers

Jordan Sharp

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 5:19 PM GMT

The NBA Odds have Cleveland as a-5 favorite as they play host to the upstart Bucks, with a total of 203. These NBA Odds were late coming out due to some important injuries that could alter this NBA Pick a lot. 

Hey, Hey LBJ, Are You Going to Play Today?
Lebron James turned 30 years old last night, however he was not on the court as his team played the Hawks, a very up and coming team in the Eastern Conference. Not only that, but the Cavs had to play that game in Atlanta, and now has a game tonight at home against the feisty Bucks. There has been zero word on whether James will be able to suit up tonight, but after losing last night, I bet there might be some urgency if James was just resting on the first night of a back to back.

However there is another big concern for the Cavs in this one. Kevin Love left last night’s game against the Hawks with a back injury, and did not return to the game. Now he is questionable tonight against the Bucks, and event though Milwaukee has cooled off from their hot start, they could still be a threat to cover here, especially if James and Love both miss this game.

While this is just speculation, I wouldn’t be surprised to see James return tonight, and Love miss the game. The Cavs are basically in a holding pattern right now, trying to tread water after getting hit by all of these injuries. The injury to Anderson Varejao hurts them until they can make a trade to bring in another rim protector, (please god let it be Andrew Bynum again!) but potentially without Love here, the Bucks small front line might even have some success tonight.

 

The Sharp Pick
The Bucks have a lot going for them in this game. Not only are the Cavs banged up and coming off a back-to-back, but they have some nice matchups. Brandon Knight should play pretty solid defense on Kyrie Irving, but I can’t say the same about Irving against Knight. If James plays, Giannis Antetokounmpo should play some nice defense against his tonight, and down low, even Zaza Pachulia might have some success against the Cavs’ small front line.

Cleveland is only 2-6 ATS in their last eight home games, and after this spread briefly opened around -7 or -8 in NBA odds, it has quickly been bet down to +5 and is falling fast. The Cavs are also only 1-4 ATS coming off a SU loss, and 1-7 ATS coming off a game where they gave up 100 points or more to their opponent. The Bucks on he other hand have won their last five games in a row ATS where they are an underdog between +5 and +10, and they are 6-0 ATS in their last six road games. On top of that they are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games as underdogs, and they are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games. The Cavs don’t have much in regards to momentum, and with their playoff chances in the East high right now, look for the Bucks to use this game as their version of a consolation 2014 NBA championship. I’m taking points and adding it to my NBA picks.

Free NBA Pick: Bucks +4 at Pinnacle Sportsbook