Warriors vs Cavaliers: Bet Golden State as Road 'Dog

Action Network contributor Jim Turney offers up his Warriors vs. Cavaliers prediction and best bet.

Warriors vs. Cavaliers Odds

Warriors Odds +1.5
Cavaliers Odds -1.5
Moneyline +104 / -122
Over/Under 220.5
Time Sunday, 6 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here’s everything you need to know about Warriors vs. Cavaliers on Sunday, Nov. 5, including our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

It’s been a tale of two starts for Golden State and Cleveland. The Warriors have won five of their first six and have integrated their new veteran point guard with ease. On the other hand, the Cavaliers have dropped four of six and have already battled health problems. That being said, the Cavaliers are favored, which might make some sense when looking the numbers, but I still lean toward the Warriors.

Let’s get to our Warriors vs. Cavaliers prediction and pick.

Warriors vs Cavaliers Prediction

Notable within the Cavaliers’ slow start has been their health problems. They missed Darius Garland for four of the six games, and Jarrett Allen in all but one. However, heading into Sunday’s game, they actually have a near-clean bill of health, with Isaac Okoro the only possible rotation player missing, and he’ll be a game-time decision.

Of course, the Cavaliers were also at full strength on Friday night, a game which they lost to the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers are a fun team, but not exactly the type of team Cleveland should to lose against, even on the road.

The Cavaliers rank 26th in offensive rating, 16th in defensive rating and 15th in rebounding rate. They’ve also turned the ball over at the fourth-lowest rate and are taking the 12th-most 3s per game. It’s really just been a matter of being meh in many categories, particularly putting the ball in the basket (24th-best effective field goal percentage) and preventing that same (16th-best effective field goal percentage defense).

The Warriors, who have been clicking on all cylinders, haven’t had that problem. Golden State has the eighth-best effective field goal percentage defense and the ninth-best effective field goal percentage offense. By net rating, the Warriors are +7.6. The Cavs are -5.2.

Yes, we are talking about five- and six-game samples, but I still think the market is under-reacting. I started the season with the Warriors as about a +2.5 regular season team (close to 4.5 with everyone playing). However, now that they are fully healthy and I’ve seen how well Chris Paul has stabilized the bench, I’ve moved them up significantly to around +5.5.

Conversely, I began the season with Cleveland around +5.0. However, I’ve already moved them down half a point, and they may slide further if, at full strength, they continue to struggle.

As such, the line being right at Cavaliers -1.5 makes sense.

However, there are plenty of matchup factors to consider. With a backcourt of Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, the Cavaliers really don’t have anyone to throw at Stephen Curry, who has started the year off as strong as ever, averaging 30.8 points per game on 46.5% shooting from 3 (on 11.8 attempts a game). Additionally, Paul is leading the league in potential assists per game, even though he’s come off the bench in four of the six games.

The Warriors also have a player who I’m expecting to play some extra minutes — Gary Payton II. Payton has seen his minutes increase in each of the past five games, and with Mitchell averaging 28.3 points per game in the early season, it makes sense for the Warriors to get Payton more time on the court. I’m eyeing his steals prop, which came out at O/U 0.5 and was juiced only -135 to the over last game. He has a steal in every game this season and has cleared 1.5 in three of the six games.

Warriors vs Cavaliers Picks, Odds

I’m betting Warriors moneyline and Gary Payton II over 0.5 steals to -220, or over 1.5 steals at plus money.

Picks: Warriors Moneyline | Gary Payton II Over 0.5 Steals