Cavaliers vs. Clippers Odds
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The red-hot Cleveland Cavaliers visit Los Angeles to face off against Paul George and the Clippers. The Cavaliers have an 8-1 record and are also an impressive 8-1 against the spread. They have the league’s second-best record behind the 9-0 Milwaukee Bucks.
The Clippers started the season slow, but have strung together three consecutive wins. Two of those wins were against the Rockets and the other was against the Spurs, so there’s not much to be excited about just yet.
Both teams are on the second night of a back-to-back and are playing their third game in four nights. Fatigue could play a factor in this matchup. Let’s dive into this game and see if that presents any value from a betting perspective.
The Cavaliers were one of the league’s biggest surprises last season. Unfortunately, they were hit with injuries to key players all season long. Overall, they ended last season fifth in Defensive Rating behind Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, but they were only 20th in Offensive Rating.
During the offseason, they made one of the biggest splashes when they traded for star guard, Donovan Mitchell. He has transitioned in seamlessly, giving them that alpha-dog scoring machine they desperately needed.
The Cavaliers are now one of the most complete teams in the NBA. They rank first in the league in Net Rating, per NBA Advanced Stats. They are second in Defensive Rating and sixth in Offensive Rating, a huge improvement from last season.
Darius Garland and Mitchell have both been dealing with injuries and were listed as questionable on Sunday against the Lakers. Both performed well, but the likelihood of them getting rest Monday seems pretty high. Either one of them taking a rest day will hurt the Cavaliers’ scoring potential.
Los Angeles Clippers
Similar to seasons past, there was optimism surrounding the Clippers team going into the season. After sitting the entire 2021-2022 season, Kawhi Leonard was supposed to be healthy and take this team over the hump. However, Leonard has only played in two games this season and has been held out to manage his knee injury. This will be the eighth consecutive game he has missed.
Reggie Jackson and Norman Powell have really struggled to score, hitting 36.2% and 40.7% from the field, respectively. Marcus Morris is their second leading scorer and that is not a great sign. With such an inconsistent and ineffective offense, I don’t expect the Clippers to have much success against the Cavaliers’ defense.
However, their defense is still elite. They are ranked second in Defensive Rating in the league and have a stable of versatile players who can defend multiple positions. The return of Robert Covington will help in that category, as well.
The Cavaliers may seem like the obvious choice here, but there’s something unusual about the short line that may be telling of some potential injury news. Also, the Cavaliers are in a rough schedule spot, playing on the road and in their third game in four nights. I’d be wary of backing them.
Instead, let’s set our sight on the total. This matchup features two top-defenses and slow-paced teams. In addition, both teams are fatigued from being on the second game of a back-to-back. I believe there is a good chance for one of the Cavaliers’ guards, Mitchell or Garland, to sit this game. My numbers make the total on this game 216, so I see immense value on betting the under at 220.
Pick: Under 220 (down to 217)