One of the more high-profile matchups of the day will take place in the Mile High City as the Cleveland Cavaliers put their winning ways on the line in a contest versus the one-seed out west in the Denver Nuggets. Let’s take an exclusive look at our NBA odds series where our Cavaliers-Nuggets prediction and pick will be revealed.
Whether it has been Donovan Mitchell dropping 71 points or the Cavaliers thwarting their opponents in clutch fashion, Cleveland is arguably one of the top teams in not only the Eastern Conference but the entire NBA. With a record of 25-14, the Cavs only sit a half game behind the Bucks for the top spot in the Central Standings.
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When it comes to the high-flying Nuggets, Denver comes into this one after one of their best showings of the season that resulted in a 122-91 beatdown rout of the Clippers. Already equipping themselves with the top three-point percentage in the league, there is no doubt that the Nuggets are starting to look more and more like the real deal as each day passes. Not to mention, Denver will look to extend their nine-game winning streak at home against a formidable opponent in the Cavaliers.
Here are the Cavaliers-Nuggets NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Cavaliers-Nuggets Odds
Cleveland Cavaliers: +5.5 (-108)
Denver Nuggets: -5.5 (-112)
Over: 221 (-112)
Under: 221 (-108)
How To Watch Cavaliers vs. Nuggets
TV: Altitude, Bally Sports Ohio
Stream: NBA League Pass
Time: 9:00 ET/6:00 PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Cavaliers Could Cover The Spread
After his record-breaking performance that saw himself score the most amount of points since Kobe Bryant dropped 81 on the Raptors back in 2004, Mitchell was surprisingly quiet in a 20-point outing on only 30% shooting. Unfortunately for the Cavs chances of covering the spread, the organization decided to give Mitchell the night off with a rest day so other contributors will need to step up in a big way.
Even though Cleveland will also be without the services of Darius Garland, Ricky Rubio, and Dean Wade, there is still a formula for success that Cleveland can cook up to take care of business on Friday. With that being said, look no further than for Cleveland to want to establish an advantage inside the paint.
For many years now, center Jarrett Allen has made a name for himself with his shot-blocking ability defensively, but will be asked to give more of an offensive output after scoring only two points on 1/3 shooting from the field. Two games ago, Allen dropped 21 points en route to the Cavs high-scoring win over the Bulls. If Allen can remain aggressive down low against the back-to-back MVP win Nikola Jokic and possibly even get him in foul trouble, then Cleveland could be sitting pretty when the final horn blows.
Why The Nuggets Could Cover The Spread
The expectation for Denver in this one would be that the Nuggets would slightly be fatigued entering play for tonight’s showdown with the Cavs, but not so fast my friend. Believe it or not, Denver will tip-off against Cleveland extremely well-rested after the majority of its players were able to watch from the bench as the Nuggets cruised to a demolition of the Clippers. In fact, not one Nuggets player recorded more than 25 minutes of action, and it is expected that Denver won’t have a shortage of any star power for this evening’s matchup.
With that being said, the first five minutes of action will set the tone in a huge way. Expect Denver to use the altitude to their advantage by getting off to a quick start as they did versus the Clippers. If this happens to go in the Nuggets’ favor, then Cleveland may be gasping for air only moments after the opening tip-off takes place.
Of course, the return to full health for a Nuggets squad that reached the playoffs in the last couple of years without even some of their top contributors has been a sight for sore eyes. The one scheme that was absent when Jamal Murray was injured was the flawless pick-and-roll game between him and Jokic. In fact, not many other dynamic duos can run this play to near perfection like Murray and Jokic, and the Cavs’ backups being inserted into starting playing time may have a tough time defending this play.
In addition, the spectacular and often times acrobatic play of forward Aaron Gordon has been a huge reason why the Nuggets are viewed as legit title contenders. Playing at an All-Star-type level, Gordon has also shot lights out from beyond the arc with a 37% percentage.
Final Cavaliers-Nuggets Prediction & Pick
It is a shame that the Cavaliers’ top guns won’t suit up for action against the Nuggets, and since that is the harsh reality that Cleveland is dealt with, siding with Denver and the spread is a no-brainer here.
Final Cavaliers-Nuggets Prediction & Pick: Nuggets -5.5 (-112)