Spurs at Cavaliers Preview and Betting Pick
The San Antonio Spurs (21-16) are set to tip-off against the Cleveland Cavaliers (15-25) for a low-scoring contest on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET. Below, I will be sharing with you my picks and predictions for when these two teams in opposing conferences duel it out on the court.
Odds, Spreads, and Lines
Last updated: 7:45 a.m.
Moneyline: Spurs (-127), Cavaliers (+106)
Against the spread: Spurs -2 (-110), Cavaliers +2 (-110)
Over/Under: O 216.5 (-110), U 216.5 (-110)
DeMar DeRozan (personal reasons) – was listed out for Wednesday’s game against the Bulls.
Andre Drummond (not with team) – will not play as the Cavaliers work on trading their Center.
Kevin Love (calf) – was listed out for Wednesday’s game against the Celtics.
Taurean Prince (shoulder) – was listed out for Wednesday’s game against the Celtics.
This will be the first meeting of the 2020-21 NBA season between the Spurs and Cavaliers. What’s so great about the NBA and many other professional sports is that any underdog can defeat the favorite in any given matchup. Therefore, while it is unlikely that the Cavaliers upset the Spurs on Friday evening, it is not entirely out of the picture.
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The Cavaliers haven’t had much success this season as they have begun their process of rebuilding around star point-guard Colin Sexton. However, there have been certain games they have shown up to and been able to beat some of the best teams around the league. Let’s take a look at some of the wins the Cavs have been able to pull off.
Cavaliers Top Wins:
12/27 vs. 76ers (28-13) 118-94 Win
1/20 vs. Nets (28-13) 147-135 OT Win
1/22 vs. Nets 125-113 Win
2/27 vs. 76ers 112-109 Win
3/17 vs. Celtics (20-20) 117-110 Win
Here is what I take away from these wins:
The Cavs have had success against the 76ers and Nets, who hold the #1 and #2 seed in the Eastern Conference. It’s critical in noting those 2 teams are in the same conference as the Cavs, simply because teams are much more familiar with the opposing teams’ game styles by competing with them multiple times throughout a season.
In addition, look at the dates of all their top wins. The accomplishments have been spread out for the entire season with the exception of defeating the Nets in back-to-back games. With those wins coming so far apart from one another, it’s crucial we look between the lines and analyze some of the poor losses they have taken.
Cavaliers Worse Performances:
1/4 vs. Magic (13-26) 103-83 Loss
1/31 vs. Timberwolves (9-31) 109-94 Loss
2/21 vs. Thunder (17-23) 117-101 Loss
3/12 vs. Pelicans (17-23) 116-82 Loss
While the Cavs have had success in defeating the #1 and #2 seed in the Eastern Conference a couple times, they have also taken defeats of their own from some of the worst teams around the league. All of the losses above come against under .500% teams and double-digit losses and games that were never close.
The San Antonio Spurs have one of the most versatile rosters across the NBA. While they have DeMar DeRozan, the unknown players have been able to lead the Spurs to their most recent success. Currently, sitting at the #7 overall seed in the Western Conference, prepare for them to make a push and rise in the rankings like they do year after year.
Of course, it’s important to note that they are coached by one of the best ever to do it, Gregg Popovich. He does a tremendous job of not letting a game slip out of the team’s hands and settles his players down with encouraging words from the sideline. His team approaches each game with a must-win mentality.
In their past 5 games, the Spurs have had a different leading scorer in each contest.
Spurs Last 5 Games:
3/10 vs. Mavericks 115-104 Loss (Leading Scorer: DeMar DeRozan 30 points)
3/12 vs. Magic 104-77 Win (Leading Scorer: Rudy Gay 19 points)
3/14 vs. 76ers 134-99 Loss (Leading Scorer: Drew Eubanks 17 points)
3/15 vs. Pistons 109-99 Win (Leading Scorer: Dejounte Murray 19 points)
3/17 vs. Bulls 106-99 Win (Leading Scorer: Jakob Poeltl 20 points)
These 5 games are perfect for summarizing the entire Spurs season up to this point. The longest winning streak they have had is 3 games, while the longest losing streak they have had was at the very beginning of the season, where they were defeated 4 times in a row with 2 of those losses coming from a healthy Lakers squad and 1 of them coming from the highly competitive Jazz.
Cavs Scoring Struggles
There are 30 teams in the NBA. Guess where the Cavs rank among those 30 teams in the category of points per game? The answer is dead last, 30th place, averaging just 103.6 points per game.
Since returning from the All-Star break, the Cavalier’s offensive struggles have been consistent. In the team’s first 3 games from the break, they failed to reach the 100 point total.
Cavaliers First 3 Games After All-Star Game Weekend:
3/12 vs. Pelicans 116-82 Loss
3/14 vs. Hawks 100-82 Loss
3/16 vs. Heat 113-98 Loss
The Spurs also rank 8th overall in the NBA in points against, averaging only 110.1 points against the season. Prepare for the Spurs to lockdown the Cavs on defense and for those struggles to continue for a low-powered Cavs offense.
Free Pick: Under 216.5 (-110)
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