NBA Betting – Cavs Host Sputtering Warriors
Zack GarrisonNo comments
The Cleveland Cavaliers (28-10, 15-1 Home) are still looking for a measure of revenge after falling to the Golden State Warriors (37-4, 18-4 Away) in the 2015 NBA Finals, and the Warriors, who’ve lost two of three, might be ripe for the picking tonight at Quicken Loans Arena (8:00 PM Eastern).
“Sputtering” might be a bit of an overstatement when it comes to the Warriors, but they have dropped their last two road games (112-110 at Denver and 113-95 at Detroit) and really seemed to miss the presence of power forward Draymond Green.
Green sat out the game against the Nuggets and, though in the lineup, didn’t look himself against the Pistons, scoring just five points and adding five boards in 36 minutes of action, a far cry from the 14.7 PPG and 9.6 RPG he averages.
The setbacks have allowed the Spurs to creep within a game and a half of Golden State at the top of the West. Both teams are still perfect at home on the year, making the battle for top spot (and home-court in the playoffs) all the more important.
The Cavaliers have won nine of the last ten and have opened up a four-game lead at the top of the Eastern Conference. They lost to the Spurs in San Antonio Spurs (99-95) on Thursday, but bounced back with a convincing 91-77 win in Houston.
The Western Conference has long been the stronger half, and most people still consider the Spurs and Warriors the top two teams in the league. For Cleveland coach David Blatt, tonight’s game is a chance for his team to prove it will be able to hang with the top dogs in the finals. .
“[Y]ou’re going to play these teams sooner or later,” Blatt said after practice Sunday to the AP. “And you definitely want to go into a series [knowing] that you’ve played them well during the season and that you got what it takes to beat the team.”
This will be the second meeting of the season between the teams; Golden State emerged victorious, 89-83, back on Christmas day, but the Cavs narrowly covered as 6.5-point underdogs.
The Cavs have another positive takeaway from the earlier matchup. That was one of just three games in which the Warriors failed to score 100 points this season (and it’s the only time they’ve been kept under 90).
Cleveland comes into this one healthier than they were then. Point guard Kyrie Irving was playing just his third game of the season at the time and had a miserable day from the floor (4 of 15 for 13 points).
He’s now averaging 17.0 points per game.
That said, Cleveland is just 3-6 ATS in its last nine home games (and 6-13 in the last 19, overall) against the Warriors. It’s not often you’ll get points with the Warriors. If Green is back to his old self tonight, I like Golden State to at least cover.
Pick: Golden State +3.