Lakers vs. Cavaliers Betting Preview: Los Angeles Looks to Stay Hot

Jacob McKenna previews Tuesday's NBA game between the Lakers and Cavaliers, including betting odds and a prediction.

Lakers vs. Cavaliers Odds

Lakers Odds +4.5
Cavaliers Odds -4.5
Over/Under 224
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Los Angeles Lakers will continue their six-game road trip on Tuesday night when they travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers.

The Lakers got off to a historically bad start this season, and as a result find themselves in 12th place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 10-12. However, the Lake Show has won three straight games and has won eight of their last 10, so they have shown some tremendous signs of improvement.

The Cavaliers come into this matchup in third in the Eastern Conference with a record of 15-9 in what has been a great start to the season.

Cleveland is coming off of a disappointing loss to the Knicks on Sunday, a game in which it showed some vulnerability. Will a hot Lakers team be able to expose the Cavs and hand them their second loss in two games, or will Cleveland figure things out and get back on track with a win?

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Lakers Turning Things Around

All of a sudden the Lakers look like an unstoppable force, which is a massive surprise after their performance last season and at the beginning of this one.

The Lakers came out of the gates unfathomably slow, losing 10 of their first 12 games. In those 12 games the Lakers ranked dead last in the NBA in Offensive Rating at 104.2, and their performance on the defensive end of the floor didn’t do them any favors either as they posted a Defensive Rating of 111.6 in that same stretch.

However, the Lakers have won eight of their last 10 games in what has been a remarkable turnaround.

In those 10 games, L.A. is averaging 122.6 points per game, a number that ranks second in the NBA behind the Kings. That has come as a result of shooting the ball with tremendous efficiency, as the Lakers are shooting 50.5% from the floor in that span of time.

The largest improvement that Los Angeles has made has been from behind the arc. In their first 12 games of the season, the Lakers were shooting a league-worst 30% from behind the arc, but they have suddenly found their touch and are shooting 37.1% from three in their last 10 games.

The Lakers can also thank Anthony Davis for their newly found momentum, as he has undoubtedly thrown himself into the early MVP conversation. On Sunday against Washington, Davis dropped 55 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, and in his last nine games he is averaging 35.3 points and 15.6 rebounds while shooting 64.8% from the floor.

Cavaliers Looking to Rebound

The Cavaliers have looked like one of the best teams in the NBA to begin the season, but their most recent performance against the Knicks is a cause for concern.

In that game, the Cavs scored just 81 total points, which marked a new season low for the team. They shot 35% from the floor overall and 23% from behind the arc in what was a disastrous performance.

However, if there is one good thing to take away from that game it’s that Cleveland played some good defense, which has been the case for this team as of late.

In their last four games the Cavs have posted a Defensive Rating of 99.2, which ranks No. 1 in the NBA in that span of time. They are also holding their opponents to shooting just 43.9% from the floor overall in that stretch, while also limiting those opponent to shooting 29.2% from three.

Cleveland hasn’t complimented that defense with much offense though, as evidenced by scoring an average of just 97.3 points per game in that same four game stretch. That average will need to rise in this one if the Cavs want to compete with L.A.

Lakers-Cavaliers Pick

We have two teams that are finding ways to win games as we pass the one-quarter mark of the season, but I think this is a good spot to continue backing the Lakers.

Davis has been unstoppable the last two weeks, and even though Cleveland is a good defensive team he should be able to continue to dominate. Jarrett Allen remains questionable with a back injury and has not played in the Cavaliers last five games, and if he remains sidelined Davis will have a field day in the paint.

The Lakers have all of the momentum in the world, and even though Cleveland’s last game against New York was likely a fluke, I still like Los Angeles to stay competitive in this matchup.

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