The Cavaliers have hit their stride again and will be carrying a four-game winning streak into tonight's road game against Brooklyn. We know who the NBA odds will favor, but what's the best play?
The Cavaliers are one of the heaviest NBA betting odds favorites of the day, and that's even with them being on the road. They're laying eight and a half or nine points depending on the sportsbook you use.
It also looks like we'll be seeing a high-scoring game, as oddsmakers have listed a total of 206.5, which is quite a bit higher than we would have anticipated. That being said, the Cavaliers have scored 219 points in total over their last two games, and that came against strong defensive teams in Memphis and Milwaukee.
Though their overall record of 30-40 leaves a lot to be desired, the Nets have actually been playing quite well in recent weeks. They've gone 5-2 over their last seven games with wins over the likes of the Bucks, Pacers and Hornets mixed in there. It's not like Brooklyn has been beating the elite teams out there, but they've gotten the job done against some conference foes.
We last got a look at the Nets on Wednesday in a hard-fought 91-88 road win over Charlotte. The Nets shot 42.9 percent overall from the floor, but they were dominant in terms of scoring inside and also held the Hornets to under 40 percent shooting. It was Brook Lopez that made the biggest difference though, as he exploded for 34 points on 16-of-26 shooting to go with 10 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. No one else scored more than 13 points for Brooklyn, so it was pretty much a one-man show.
With that win, the Nets have moved even closer to that eighth playoff seed. They're only a half game back of Boston right now (2.5 back of Miami), so they've still got plenty to play for and will have a lot of motivation, especially with LeBron James coming to town.
Winners of four straight, and having gone 8-1 over their last nine, the Cavaliers are in a groove. It comes at a good time for Cleveland, who is gearing up in hopes of a deep playoff run. The Cavaliers have already locked up their spot in the postseason and currently find themselves in second place behind only the Hawks.
Cleveland's latest win was perhaps their most impressive. They crushed Memphis 111-89 on the road, shooting 51.2 percent overall while connecting on 14 threes en route to the comfortable victory. It seemed like everyone contributed at a high level for the Cavaliers, as all five starters had at least 13 points apiece. LeBron, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love totaled 66 points between them.
If we keep seeing that kind of balance, Cleveland is going to be a mighty difficult team to deal with come the postseason. This is a team that seems to be gelling at just the right time, which therefore makes it tricky to fade them on any given night right now.
Ladies and gentlemen, there's a reason the NBA odds makers have set this line is so high.
The Nets have been playing better recently, but they still should be no match for the Cavaliers, who are not only beating good teams but doing it in style. They just crushed the Grizzlies on the road, so it's hard to imagine them not doing something similar against the far less talented Nets this evening.
So, with our NBA Picks, let's back LeBron and company to win handily on the road. They crushed this same Brooklyn team by 25 close to 10 days ago, and while we don't think it'll be so one-sided this time around, we do feel good about Cleveland's chances of a cover.
NBA Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers -8.5 at 5Dimes