Cavaliers vs. 76ers Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Philadelphia 76ers pulled off a blockbuster trade at the deadline, shipping away Ben Simmons along with Seth Curry and Andre Drummond for James Harden. Although Harden won’t make his debut until next week, the 76ers have finally have their star and come into this game off a 100-87 win against the Thunder on Friday night behind Joel Embiid’s 25 points, 14 rebounds and four assists.
The Cleveland Cavaliers overcame 21 point deficit against the Indiana Pacers to pull off a road 120-113 victory on Friday night. Both teams are playing a back-to-back, however the Cavaliers are playing their third game in four nights in addition traveling on the road for this game.
With a rest and travel advantage, do the 76ers have the edge in tonight’s matchup, or can the Cavaliers overcome playing three games in four nights?
Let’s analyze both sides and determine where the betting value lies.
Cleveland’s Defense Powering Success
The Cleveland Cavaliers come into this game having completed a big trade of their own, acquiring former Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert. For a team that has lacked playmaking and perimeter scoring outside of Darius Garland due to injuries to Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio, LeVert was a necessary addition.
The move seems to have already paid off, with LeVert scoring 22 points on 10-19 shooting while adding five assists and 3 rebounds while making clutch baskets as he led the Cavaliers to a 120-113 victory.
Cleveland is scoring 114.1 points per 100 possessions with Garland on the floor and just 107 with him off it, so LeVert should be big in helping this Cavaliers team that ranks 19th in Offensive Rating (110.4) in their non-garbage-time minutes and 109.4 over the past two weeks.
Garland is questionable for tonight’s matchup, which would go along way in helping the Cavs score efficiently. You could argue that he has arguably had one of the biggest impacts to the spread in the NBA given the lack of playmakers on this team in addition to his defensive impact. If Garland plays, it should also help Cleveland get out in transition, where it has a major edge, ranking eighth in points per possession.
The Cavaliers make their living on the defensive end of the floor, ranking second in Defensive Rating (106.0). That effort is led by Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, who are why Cleveland is first in opponent field goal percentage at the rim (57.9%). That will be huge against Joel Embiid.
Cleveland is also second in opponent 3-point shooting percentage (33.9%) and second in half-court Defensive Rating (88.8). If the Cavaliers are going to win this game, it will be because of their defense.
Does Philly Have Enough Depth After Trade?
The Philadelphia 76ers are 7-3 in their last 10 games, largely due to the play of MVP frontrunner Embiid. He leads the league in scoring at 29.3 points per game while also grabbing 11.4 rebounds and dishing 4.3 assists.
The 76ers will be missing Curry and Andre Drummond, who were traded for Harden. This isn’t a very deep roster, so Philadelphia will need Embiid in MVP form until Harden makes his debut.
Tyrese Maxey has been a bright spot for this team, averaging 17 points on 47.5% shooting while also dishing 4.8 assists.
The 76ers have been middle of the pack offensively, scoring 112.4 points per 100 possessions, 12th in the NBA. They’re third in 3-point shooting percentage (33.9%), which should go down a bit without Curry.
The 76ers biggest advantage should come in the half-court, where they’re eighth in points per 100 possessions (97.2), and in transition, where they’re 13th (2.7) and facing a Cavs team that struggles to get back. Cleveland also could have tired legs on the back end of a back-to-back and also playing its third game in four nights.
It’s worth noting that the 76ers only put up 100 points with 1.02 points per possession on Friday against Oklahoma City. Philly shot just 7-of-26 (26.9%) from behind the arc and while playing Matisse Thybulle helps their defense, as a 30% 3-point shooter the 76ers are 2.3 points per 100 possessions worse offensively with him on the floor (113.9 off vs. 110.9 on).
This is a very difficult game to handicap given the roster changes and rest advantage for the 76ers.
Still, I think the Cavaliers have the edge here. They have the bigs in Allen and Mobley to deal with Embiid, and they should have enough to limit this 76ers offense. If Garland plays, Cleveland should have enough scoring to cover this number and potentially win this game outright.
My model makes this game 76ers -1.05 and when you account for the third game in four nights, you can bump that up a bit. It’s clear this line is a bit high, so I’ll take the Cavs +3.5.
Pick: Cavaliers +3.5