Cavaliers vs. Nets Odds & Picks: Will Jarrett Allen Return For The Cavs?

Both the Cavs and the Nets find themselves in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, with the Cavs holding a three-game lead on the Knicks for the four-seed, while the Nets are sitting one game ahead of the Nets for the sixth seed.

They’ll both need to pick up as many wins as they can in the home stretch of the season and with the potential return of Jarrett Allen for the Cavs, they’re looking like a great bet against the Nets despite being on the road.


Cavaliers Nets
Spread -3.5 +3.5
Moneyline -164 +138
Over/Under 218.5

*Lines and odds accurate at the time of publication


Cavaliers -3.5 (-112, FanDuel)

Despite still being listed as questionable on the Cavs’ official injury report, Jarrett Allen was able to get in a full practice on Monday and seems to be trending towards making his return to the court. While the Cavs have won six of their last eight games with only one of the wins coming within four or fewer points, a potential return by Allen would be a welcomed sight.

On the season, the Cavs have posted an offensive rating of 114.4 without Allen, but they immediately see that number balloon to 118.4 with him on the court. If extrapolated over the entirety of the season, the 118.4 offensive rating would rank second in the entire NBA, trailing only the Sacramento Kings. The Cavs would also see a sizeable improvement in interior defense, rebounding, and overall defensive upside, which would be a massive bump against a Nets team that can really struggle to score the ball. This has been evident given the fact that they rank 27th in offensive rating since the deadline.

After the blockbuster deadline deals, the Nets were expected to have their share of struggles offensively, and they have. While they’ve certainly flashed upside, they lack a presence of “the guy” to go to late in games, in clutch situations, etc. On top of that, the assumption that they’d have an elite defense has not yet come to fruition. It’s improved over the last few weeks, but they still rank 13th in defensive rating since the deadline and given the number of weapons that Cleveland has, I expect the Nets to have their share of struggles, especially inside against Evan Mobley and Allen (if he plays).

This is a play I want to get ahead of given the optimism that Allen will return tonight, which could inflate the line to -5.5 or even greater. It’s time to buy low on this Cavs line, as it’s a line they could comfortably cover even if Allen remains sidelined.

Risk: 1.12 units on FanDuel to win 1 unit.

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