Cavaliers vs. Trail Blazers Odds
|Trail Blazers Odds||+2.5|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Cleveland Cavaliers will play the fourth game of a five-game road trip on Thursday night when they travel to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers.
Cleveland has had a marvelous season thus far and enters this matchup with a 26-16 record, good enough for the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. However, the Cavaliers find themselves just 3.5 games back of the the No. 1 seed with plenty of games remaining.
Portland hasn’t had nearly as much success, entering this matchup in 11th in the Western Conference after losing its past four games.
Cleveland also lost its last game, so both teams will be looking for a bit of redemption. Here is a look at the odds and a betting prediction for the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. the Portland Trail Blazers.
Cleveland’s most recent loss came against the Jazz, as Utah played spoiler in Donovan Mitchell’s return to Salt Lake City.
That loss isn’t a large stain on Cleveland’s record, but it does back a concerning trend that has followed the Cavs all season long — struggles on the road.
Cleveland is 18-4 on its home court, but just 8-12 on the road. That is the result of a variety of factors, as the Cavaliers tend to underperform in several aspects when on an opponent’s court.
According to NBA.com, the Cavaliers own a 107.3 Defensive Rating and a 115.4 Offensive Rating at home. However, on the road those numbers change significantly. The Cavaliers Defensive Rating rises to 111.3 and their Offensive Rating falls to 112.3.
Cleveland does make up some ground by doing a great job defending the paint, ranking first in the NBA in opponent points scored in the paint on the road with 43.5. That success has not translated to guarding the perimeter though, as the Cavaliers allow their opponents to shoot 38.8% from behind the arc as the road team.
With Jarrett Allen questionable for this matchup, there’s a chance Cleveland can be exposed in the interior and on the perimeter.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers began the 2022-23 season with a bang, winning nine of their first 12 games. However, Portland has fallen off a cliff since then, winning just 10 of the next 28 games and losing eight of their past 10.
The main culprit for Portland’s recent struggles has been its efficiency from behind the arc. In their past 10 games, the Trail Blazers are shooting just 32.7% from three, a significant decrease from their season average of 37.2%.
That inefficiency has resulted in Portland’s Offensive Rating sliding from 113.3 to 110.7 in its past 10 game, a major sign that buckets have been hard to come.
Things get even worse on the scoring front when you dive into Portland’s four game losing streak. In that stretch, the Blazers have played the Timberwolves, Pacers, Raptors and Magic and have averaged just 104 points per game on 44.3% shooting (26.0% from deep).
The offensive struggles have been glaring of late, and when you factor in Damian Lillard potentially missing this game with an ankle injury, things could continue to spiral for the Trail Blazers.
Cavaliers-Trail Blazers Pick
We have two teams looking to get back in the win column in this matchup, but I think Cleveland will be the team to do so despite its struggles on the road this season.
Even though Allen is listed on the injury report, he is expected to suit up after battling a minor illness. That should allow Cleveland to continue to dominate the paint on the defensive end.
The Cavaliers can be exposed from behind the arc, but the questionable tag on Lillard and Portland’s inability to shoot higher than 26% from deep in its past four games gives me confidence Cleveland can hold its own in that department.
I like the Cavs to bounce back in Portland, and would take the spread to 3.5.
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