NBA Pick: Cavaliers Face Big Numbers Tonight Against 76ers, Will They be Up to the Challenge?

Doug Upstone

Monday, February 2, 2015 3:24 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 2, 2015 3:24 PM UTC

With the completion of football, those making sports picks can turn their full attention to basketball. There are two teams currently with double-digit win streaks and one of them is Cleveland. 

In truth, nobody is particularly surprised the Cavaliers would have a ten-game winning streak but the manner in which it has occurred has been unusual. But fans of the team or sports bettors who prefer to make NBA picks following hot teams are on a joy ride. Cleveland has a big number to face tonight against Philadelphia; will they be up to the challenge?


LeBron has his Teammates Doing it Again
During a long NBA season, we all know there is going to be hot and cold streaks just trying to win games and the same will also be true of following any team or basketball handicapper against NBA betting odds.

However, maybe it’s because LeBron James draws so much attention, over the past three and one-half seasons, LeBron has been involved in many unusual stretches from the wagering perspective.

If a bettor where to perseverate like myself over the numbers, they would find patterns in both positive and negative versus the NBA odds for both Miami and Cleveland when LeBron has won their uniforms the past several years.

Cleveland is on this long winning streak and his team is killing the sportsbooks at 9-1 ATS in this period. But earlier this season before James took his sabbatical, he and his mates had two stretches in which they went 1-5 ATS or worse, which is not news for his teams.

At Miami, James with his power trio was involved in 16 intervals in which his teams were either 6-1 or more or 1-6 or worse against the spread. For the basketball bettor, it has been worth paying close attention when they cropped up to bet for or against the King.

Cleveland is still hot and makes sense to ride the hot hand rather than guess when Cleveland will begin to falter. And when they do, it is clear what to do next.


Philadelphia No Sure Bet, But No Longer a Pushover Either
Even thought the 76ers no longer have the worst record in the NBA, at 10-38 (22-25-1 ATS), they are not sending out a positive vibe many would pick up the pulse on. Philadelphia is the worst scoring team in the NBA at 89.6 points a game, has the largest score-differential at -11.5 and recently lost their leading scorer Tony Wroten for the season with a torn ACL.

Nonetheless, the Sixers are 8-6 ATS since Jan. 9th and the combination point guard Michael Carter-Williams and center Nerlens Noel have not only made team contributions on offense, but their work ethic has rubbed off on their teammates and Philly has allowed 90.8 PPG in their last six outings, compared to 101.2 PPG on the season.

Will the energy translates against a veteran team with multiple scoring weapons like Cleveland, we will find out.


Betting Odds and Head to Head
Cleveland is a 16.5 point favorite with a total of 192.5. As has been mentioned before, head to head matchups are hard to gauge when the rosters are overhauled like these two have been, thus Philadelphia being 5-4 and 6-3 ATS does not mean much. However, these two are 8-1 UNDER in that time span which is worth noting.


After tonight, Cleveland is off until Thursday, with the L.A. Clippers posing the most serious threat to end their winning streak until they play at Chicago on Feb. 12th. With their turnaround, the Cavs are up to 14-13 and 11-16 ATS with a day off.

After tonight, Philadelphia will only be on the road once until Feb. 22nd (@Boston Friday). The 76ers will host Denver tomorrow and is 14-11-1 ATS with a day between games.


The Choice
The outcome of this game depends upon the level of interest by Cleveland, since defensively they can contain the Sixers if they so choose. They actually trailed Minnesota by three to start the fourth quarter as 11-point point road favorites two nights ago but outscored the T-Wolves by 19 to win and cover.

My personal numbers have them winning by 14 to 17 points and I mentioned being a hero to predict when the Cavaliers will come up short against the oddsmakers is foolish, thus I’ll side with the home team and presume we will see another UNDER.

NBA Basketball Free Pick: Cleveland 16.5 and Under at Pinnacle Sportsbook

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