Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Brooklyn Nets March 21 Betting Preview
The Cleveland Cavaliers (45-28) and Brooklyn Nets (39-32) meet in one of six games on the NBA schedule Tuesday night. Cleveland, fourth in the Eastern Conference, are five games up on the Nets, who hold the sixth and final automatic playoff spot, one game ahead of the Miami Heat. This could be a potential first-round playoff preview.
The Cavs are 7-3 in their last 10 games and coming off of a 117-94 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday, whereas the Nets are finally starting to fade out of the playoff picture after losing both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant; they've lost three games in a row to the Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings, and Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Nets and Cavs also play again Thursday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Cavaliers Betting Preview
Cleveland has been primarily winning with sound team defense this season - they rank 2nd in defensive rating (111.3) - but have been starting to score at a higher clip, which could benefit them come playoff time. The Cavs still rank 25th in points per game with 112.2, but have consistently scored in the 110s during the last month.
Cleveland hasn't scored fewer than 100 points since beating the Chicago Bulls 97-89 on February 11 and, since then, have averaged 114.2 points in their last 14 games. Donovan Mitchell, of course, leads the team in scoring with 27.4 PPG, while Darius Garland is averaging 21.9 PPG and has exceeded 21 points in five of his last eight games.
Jarrett Allen is a game-time decision for Cleveland. The 24-year-old center is listed as questionable after suffering an eye injury on March 10 against Miami. He's already missed four games.
Nets Betting Preview
Brooklyn was actually performing decently in the immediate aftermath of trading Irving and Durant. Despite losing those two impact players, they may be an even deeper team now, albeit with no star power. The Nets have a strong core that includes Spencer Dinwiddie, Mikal Bridges, and Cameron Johnson, all of whom were acquired in trades before the deadline; Bridges has scored at least 30 points in five of his last nine contests.
The Nets are 19th in PPG with 113.4 and have the 14th best defensive rating (115) in the NBA. They're a much worse offensive rebounding team than Cleveland, averaging just 7.8 compared to the Cavs' 9.7 per game.
Ben Simmons is out with a knee injury and Dorian Finney-Smith is a game-time decision with a wrist injury.
Cavs vs. Nets Betting Odds And Prediction
Cleveland is a -4 point favorite, despite being just 16-20 on the road this season.
Cleveland is just 15-20-1 against the spread (ATS) on the road this season. Brooklyn is 17-16 ATS on home court this season. Brooklyn has won four in a row at home against the Cavs and should be competitive once again tonight. Take the Nets +3 (-110).
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