NBA Pick: Take 'Over' 208.5 In Cavaliers vs. Clippers Sunday Showdown

Jay Pryce

Sunday, March 13, 2016 11:41 AM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 13, 2016 11:41 AM UTC

In just the fifth time all season, L.A. is the underdog at home, where they've won just one of the previous four. Do they take care of business tonight? NBA Pick and analysis inside.

The Cavaliers cruised to a 115-102 meeting the last time these two met in late January, a day before the front office unexpectedly relieved former coach David Blatt of his duties. Cleveland posted 27 or more in each quarter, shooting a solid 50.6 percent from the floor. Kevin Love was the star with 18 points and 16 rebounds on the night.


Cleveland Cavaliers (46-18 SU, 30-32-2 ATS)
Cleveland has put up 114.2 points per game in its last five, accruing the second-best offensive efficiency mark in the NBA during the stretch at 117.8 points per 100 possessions (Charlotte 118.4).

To be fair, LeBron James and company have taken the hardwood against a few cupcake teams, including the Kings and Lakers in their last two, but nonetheless are 4-1 SU and ATS over this span.

Scoring in bunches is kind of the new modus operandi under coach Tyronn Lue. In 16 victories since taking charge in late January, the Cavs are outscoring opponents 113.3 to 100.1 versus 104.3 and 92.6 in 30 wins prior.

Cleveland has had its troubles on the road this season, goinag 19-12 SU and 14-16-1 ATS. The team tends to step up against stout competition, though, putting up a 7-1 ATS record when a dog or a short-priced favorite of -1.5 or less. In these eight games, the Cavs have held opponents to 88.2 points on 40.7 percent shooting, though only one occurred under Lue's guidance, its 115-92 victory over the Thunder a few weeks ago. The team falters when expected to win by a bucket or more, going 7-15-1 ATS. The defense eases up with opponents scoring 100.0 per game on 45.4 percent shooting. The NBA odds boards opened Cleveland as 1-point chalk, the line climbing a half point in early trading.


Los Angeles Clippers (42-22 SU, 33-30-1 ATS)
All five of the Clippers’ starters scored in double figures in its101-94 home victory over the Knicks last time out. But play on the other side of the ball is where the team is flourishing of late. For as hot as the Cavs offense has been over its last five games, the Clippers' defense has been equally on fire. Its allowed only 103.3 points per 100 possessions, fourth best in efficiency in the NBA over this span.

DeAndre Jordan is a bruising force down low, helping the Clip win 26 of their last 35 games . He's second in the NBA in defensive rebounds and blocked shots with 14.1 and 2.34 per game respectively. He swatted six in the team's last outing, including four in the final quarter. His offensive presence, though, may be more imperative for bettors.

Jordan had a difficult time mixing in at the beginning of the year offensively, but has found his groove, especially since Christmas when Blake Griffin last played. He leads the league in field goal percentage at .693, averaging 13.9 points per game. Since late December, when he fails to reach his average points mark, the UNDER is 23-10-2 with the team posting 101.8 per contest. In 27 games where he's sunk 13 points or more, the OVER is 16-11 with the Clip dropping 108.9 per game overall. After Jordan took on more offensive responsibility with Griffin out, the team is 13-5 ATS and the OVER 12-6 when posting his average or more. Jordan put up just 10 points in the first meeting. He'll likely sink a couple more this afternoon.


Final Analysis
The UNDER is 21-10-2 when the Clip defend the Staples Center. Most of these hit when up against strong defensive teams, staying a perfect 8-0 below the total versus those allowing less than 98 points a night. The Cavs enter the game allowing 97.6 per game, but that number is increasing with Lue in charge. Since taking leadership, they are yielding 100.9 per contest overall and 105.1 in eight road games. Both L.A. And Cleveland have played at a pace of 97.2 possessions per 48 minutes and there are few signs they'll slow down tonight. Go OVER 207 as your NBA Pick on this play.

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NBA Pick: Over 208.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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