Would Warriors Become NBA Title Favorites By Beating Cavaliers?
The NBA Game of the Week, perhaps the season, is Thursday night on the TNT national television opener as Cleveland hosts Golden State in what most believe will be an NBA Finals preview. In fact, that is the +300 favored matchup on Sportsbook.ag. In addition, Warriors star Steph Curry is the current MVP favorite but Cleveland’s LeBron James is gaining ground.
The Cavaliers’ chances of winning the East got much easier with the news that Chicago star Derrick Rose tore the meniscus in his right knee and likely will miss the rest of the season. The Cavs are 4-point favorites for this game with a total of 215.5.
Cavs Hottest Team In NBA
Cleveland (36-22) won its third straight game and 17th in the past 19 outings, rallying from an 11-point third-quarter deficit in Detroit for a 102-93 victory. LeBron had 11 assists to move past Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen for first place on the NBA career list for forwards. James now has 6,142 assists — seven more than Pippen. Kevin Love had 24 points on eight 3-pointers, which tied his career best. Kyrie Irving added 18 points for Cleveland.
The Pistons held their biggest lead of the game, 67-53, after Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s 3-pointer with a little less than 11 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. But Love sparked the Cavs during a 20-3 run in about 5-and-a-half minutes following a 10:41 timeout that turned the game completely around. Love scored 12 of Cleveland’s 20 points during that stretch, knocking down 4-of-5 from downtown.
The Cavs have won 15 straight games when hitting the century mark in scoring and are 29-4 when scoring at least 100 points this season. They are even better when scoring at least 102 points this season, as they hold a 27-1 (.963) mark, which is the best in the NBA.
Curry Good To Go
Golden State won in Washington 114-107 on Tuesday after being upset Sunday in Indiana. It was the Warriors’ 20th road victory for the second consecutive season – -which is a franchise first. Curry returned from a one-game absence (right foot soreness) to tally a game-high 32 points (11-of-17 FG, 5-of-9 3FG) to go with eight assists, his 11th 30-point performance of the season. The Warriors won despite allowing the Wizards to shoot an opponent-season-high 53.2 percent from the field and being outrebounded 45-29. Golden State forced 26 Washington turnovers.
Cleveland was playing some of its worst basketball of the season when it visited Golden State on Jan. 9 and was without LeBron. No surprise, then, the Warriors prevailed 112-94. It was fairly close entering the fourth quarter but with the first two minutes of the fourth, the Warriors extended their advantage to double digits and never looked back. Klay Thompson finished with a team-high 24 points. Curry had 23 points and 10 assists. J.R. Smith scored 27 points, Irving had 23, and Love added 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers. The Warriors outscored Cleveland 36-3 in fast-break points.
The Cavs are +220 favorites to win the NBA title with the Warriors at +400.
Key betting trends: Warriors are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. win. Warriors are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games. Warriors are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. Eastern Conference. Cavaliers are 9-0 ATS in their last 9 vs. Western Conference. Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs. NBA Pacific. Cavaliers are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 home games.
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