The Golden State Warriors (22-23) visit the Cleveland Cavaliers (28-18) on Friday night. Action kicks off at 7:40 p.m. ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Warriors-Cavaliers prediction, pick, and how to watch.
Golden State is coming off an overtime loss to the Celtics last night and is clinging to the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference. The Warriors covered 48% of their games while 59% went over the projected point total. Cleveland has lost two of their last three games but remains comfortably in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers covered 54% of their games while 52% went under. This will be the second and final meeting between the two teams. The Warriors took the first matchup in Golden State, 106-101.
Here are the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Warriors-Cavaliers Odds
Golden State Warriors: +8 (-110)
Cleveland Cavaliers: -8 (-110)
Over: 224 (-110)
Under: 224 (-110)
How To Watch Warriors vs. Cavaliers
TV: NBCS Bay Area, Bally Ohio
Stream: NBA League Pass
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 p.m. PT
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Why The Warriors Could Cover The Spread
Despite an overtime collapse against Boston last night, Golden State finds itself in a great position to cover tonight as huge road underdogs thanks to their explosive offense. The Warriors rank fourth in scoring (117.6 PPG) and lead the league in assists (29.3 APG). Their offensive success is largely predicated on their ability to push the pace and run in transition. Golden State ranks 11th in fast break scoring while playing at the sixth-fastest pace in the league. They’ll need to bring their A-game tonight, however, as they’re matched up with Clevland’s top-ranked defense.
Golden State weathered the storm while star Steph Curry missed time with an injury but now should be ready to roll with him back. Curry has been tremendous this season, averaging 29.3 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 6.3 APG. The sharpshooter averages a hair under five made threes per game while draining them at a 42% clip. He’s been up and down since returning from injury but has gone for 41 and 29 points in his last two games. Curry was the star of the show in their previous win over the Cavaliers when he scored 40 points on 15/23 shooting.
While Curry’s return stole the headlines, the return of forward Andrew Wiggins may be equally important to their chances of covering tonight. Wiggins has quietly turned into one of the best players in Golden State thanks to his scoring and defensive abilities. The former No. 1 overall pick averages 18 PPG and 4.9 RPG. He has developed into a lethal shooter from beyond the arc, averaging 2.8 made threes per game on 41% shooting.
Why The Cavaliers Could Cover The Spread
Cleveland has dropped in the Eastern Conference standings a bit in recent weeks but still sits in a comfortable fifth place. Although the star Donovan Mitchell is questionable tonight, the Cavaliers have a great chance to cover first and foremost due to their incredible defense. Cleveland holds opponents to the fewest points per game in the league (107.1 Opp. PPG) and the eighth-lowest field goal percentage (47%). Additionally, the Cavaliers are an excellent defensive rebounding team – ranking first in defensive rebound rate (78%).
The last time these two teams played the defense was stellar but the offense had issues. Cleveland managed just 101 points in the loss – something they’ll need to improve upon if they want to cover a hefty spread. Things won’t get any easier with Mitchell banged up. Regardless of if he plays tonight, look for point guard Darius Garland to play a huge role. Garland has been stellar all season but has taken things up a notch in recent games. Over their last four games, Garland averaged 22.3 PPG and 9.8 APG. As one of the best passers in the league, Garland’s scoring prowess often gets overlooked but he should see a ton of success tonight against Golden State’s 26th-ranked defense.
The biggest X-factor for Cleveland tonight is center Jarrett Allen. Allen has been stellar all year long but he was held to just 13 points and nine rebounds in their previous loss to Golden State. That being said, he’s been on a tear of late – averaging 20.3 PPG and 9.3 RPG across their last four games. Look for him to dominate the paint against the Warriors small frontline.
Final Warriors-Cavaliers Prediction & Pick
This game largely hinges on the status of Cav’s guard Donovan Mitchell. He truly may be a game-time decision and thus I am inclined to take the Warriors to cover. In the event Mitchell misses, Golden State should be able to keep things tight after their collapse in Boston last night.
Final Warriors-Cavaliers Prediction & Pick: Golden State Warriors +8 (-110)