NBA Picks: Bet Cavaliers' Plus Odds To Keep It Close Against Warriors

Charles Stark

Thursday, December 24, 2015 1:10 PM GMT

Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015 1:10 PM GMT

One of the most anticipated games comes up this Christmas Day when the Cleveland Cavaliers visit the Golden State Warriors. Check this game preview & our free NBA pick inside.

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NBA Pick: Cavs +7
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

Betting Preview
NBA odds have set Golden State a solid -7 favorite. For one of my selection today I will take Lebron and company plus the points to keep this game close all the way down to the final few minutes. It is never easy to go against Golden State, especially at home, but Cleveland is not the type of team to get blown out.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland is averaging 101.8 points per game while shooting 45.7% from the field, and allowing 95.6 points per game on 43.7% shooting from the field. Getting Kyrie Irving back in the lineup has definitely been a boost for the Cavaliers although his minutes will most likely be limited. Offensively Cleveland has been one of the best teams in the league this year ranking fourth in shooting efficiency and third in effective field-goal percentage. Like Golden State they are going to get up a lot of three-point shots and focus on moving the ball effectively as they average 23 assists per game. As for those three-pointers they rank seventh in the league in attempts and average making 10 per game which ranks fourth in the NBA. Defensively the Cavaliers have made a huge leap this season as they rank third in the league in scoring defense and statistically all-around have been solid. They allow just 33.2% from beyond the arc which ranks seventh in the NBA, and rank in the top 10 in most of the important defensive categories. Some of the better points on the defensive side include limiting extra passes, ranking sixth in the NBA in opponent assists, and limiting attempts, ranking fifth.

 

Golden State Warriors
Golden State is averaging 116 points per game while shooting 48.8% of the field, and allowing 102.6 points per game on 43.1% shooting from the field. On the offensive side of the ball I don't need to get into much detail because they are simply the best team in the NBA. They rank first in scoring, assists, overall shooting percentage, and three point shooting percentage. They also average 45.3 points in the paint which ranks third in the league, and basically they have not displayed any weaknesses this season. Defensively Golden State ranks 19th in scoring defense but that is attributed mostly to the pace they run. Statistically they have been extremely good ranking fifth in opponent shooting percentage and allowing just 31.3% from beyond the arc which ranks third in the NBA. The only "weakness" would be the fact that they allow 46.9 points in the paint per game which ranks last in the NBA. However, this is mostly due to the up-tempo pace of games because they also allow 90.1 opponent field-goal attempts per game which ranks second to last in the league. That overall pace has not limited their effectiveness on defense. Where I like Cleveland to give them some trouble though is on the matchups overall and that the Cavs will be the best team they faced all season.

On strength of schedule neither of these teams have faced a lot of top tiered competition this season so today should be an interesting game for both teams. I have no problem backing Golden State to win this game, but seven points is a lot to give up to what should be a very motivated Lebron and Cavalier team, not to mention talented. For one of your NBA picks I recommend grabbing the points with the Cavaliers and look for this game to go down to the wire.

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