Cleveland is on a 7-0 straight-up, 6-1 against-the-spread run, perhaps finally playing up to expectations. The Cavs will try to keep the good times rolling when they host Portland Tuesday night.
Blazers-Cavs Betting Odds
Various NBA odds we checked opened this game with Cleveland favored by 5.5 points, with a total of 204. Many books then bumped the total to 205.
Those who think Portland might win this game outright could get +205 on the moneyline at BetOnline.
Not too long ago Cleveland lost six games in a row, and nine of 10, and looked like it might become the bust of the season in the Association. But now, the Cavs come in hot, riding a seven-game winning streak, winning those games by an average of 14 points per. Cleveland went 4-0 both SU and ATS on a recent four-game home-stand, beating the Bulls, Jazz, Hornets and Thunder, and it just ducked up to Detroit Tuesday night and beat the Pistons 103-95.
Kyrie Irving and LeBron James combined to score 70 points Tuesday, going 24-for-47 from the floor; the rest of the team shot 15-for-46 and scored 33 points.
The Cavs only shot 42 percent as a team, but held Detroit to 42 percent shooting and won the turnover battle 18-9. However, while they had the spread covered a couple of times during the fourth quarter, they ultimately came up a point short as nine-point favorites.
At 26-20 Cleveland sits in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, 3.5 games behind fourth-place Chicago.
On the other side of this match-up Portland thought it had lost C LaMarcus Aldridge for a couple of months to a thumb injury. But he has since decided he'll try to play through it, and he came in handy against just the other night.
The Blazers had lost five of six games, including a 90-89 decision last Thursday at home against Boston. But last time out Portland beat Washington Saturday night 103-96, winning straight-up as three-point home dogs. Portland was lined as a dog in part because of the uncertainty with Aldridge, who instead played 36 minutes and scored 26 points.
The Blazers missed their first nine shots Saturday night, and didn't take their first lead until late into the third quarter. Later they trailed by four points with about five minutes to go, but went on an 11-0 run for the victory and somewhat unlikely cover.
Portland shot just 40 percent from the floor Saturday, but made 13 of 31 three-pointers and went 20-for-20 from the free-throw line.
The Blazers were supposed to play at Brooklyn Monday night, but that game was canceled because of global warming, or something.
At 32-13 Portland sits in third place in the Western Conference, one game behind second-place Memphis.
Portland has taken seven of the last eight meeting with Cleveland, but of course most of that was done while LeBron was in Miami. The Blazers did take the first meeting between the teams this season, way back in early November, 101-82, winning straight-up as three-point home dogs.
Cleveland hit its first 10 shots that night, and led by seven in the first quarter, then shot 21-for-75 and scored a total of 48 points over the last three quarters.
That game played way UNDER its total of 207.
Blazers-Cavs Key Stats
On the season Portland ranks 18th in the league in FG shooting at 44.5 percent, but sixth in 3-point shooting at 37 percent and first in FT shooting at 79 percent. On the other end of the floor the Blazers rank third in FG defense, holding foes to 43 percent shooting.
Cleveland ranks 15th in FG shooting at 45 percent and just 27th in FG defense, allowing opponents to shoot 46 percent.
Blazers-Cavs Betting Trends
Cleveland is 15-9 SU but only 11-13 ATS at home this season.
Portland is 12-8 SU, 11-9 ATS on the road.
Cleveland has skewed toward the UNDERS this season by a 29-16 margin, as Cavs games have averaged 202 points.
Portland has leaned toward the UNDERS this season by a 25-19 margin, as Blazers games have averaged 200 points.
Cleveland is 25-12 SU but only 18-19 ATS with James in the lineup this season.
Blazers-Cavs Free Pick
Normally in a spot like this we might believe the home team is favored by a bit too much, and take a shot with the underdog, but not today. Cleveland comes in the hotter team, and Portland is a bit banged up. So we'll go with the Cavs as our NBA picks here, and give the points.
Free NBA Pick: Cleveland -5.5 at BookMaker