Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Houston Rockets January 26 Betting Preview

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Houston Rockets January 26 Betting Preview

Ayden Fahlstrom
1 year ago
2 min read
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is fouled by Houston Rockets' Jalen Green

The Cleveland Cavaliers (29-20) visit the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, to play the Houston Rockets (11-37) on Thursday night. Cleveland, fifth in the Eastern Conference, has been mired in mediocrity during the last month. They're 4-6 in their last 10 games and just 7-10 since December 23. They lost 105-103 to the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

Houston, meanwhile, is a serious contender to finish in last place and win the NBA Draft Lottery for the right to draft Victor Wembanyama. Houston is in last place with one fewer win than the Detroit Pistons. Other contenders include the Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, and Orlando Magic. Houston has won just once in their last 10 games.

Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Preview

Although they have one of the Top 10 scorers in the league in Donovan Mitchell, the Cavaliers rank just 26th in league, scoring 111.5 points per game. They're also 30th in pace at 94.8, but have the fourth-best field goal percentage and the second-best defensive rating (111.5) in the league. They've been winning with team defense, but that hasn't been the case as of late.

Cleveland is just 9-15 away from Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, but there's no reason to think the team will have trouble beating the Rockets, which are 7-16 at home. Houston is bottoming out, and this should be a lay-up for the Cavs, which desperately need to string together some wins to keep themselves in contention for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. 

Cleveland is also only three games up on the Knicks, which currently sit in seventh place and hold the first play-in spot.

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Houston Rockets Betting Preview

Houston struggles to score and defend. The team ranks 29th in points per game at 109.7, while their 118.2 defensive rating is the third-worst in the league. They also turn the ball over a ton, averaging 16.1 giveaways per game, which is second-worst in the league. Houston is, however, a capable rebounding team. They're fourth in rebounds per game at 46.8.

Jalen Green has been one of the few bright spots for Houston this season. The second overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft is averaging 22 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game this season. Kevin Porter ranks second on the team with 19.2 points per game. Five players average at least five rebounds per game, including Alperen Sengun, who has a team-leading nine rebounds per game.

Cavaliers vs. Rockets Odds and Prediction

Cleveland is a huge moneyline favorite with odds at -358, while the Rockets are paying out +285. The spread is -8.5.

Cleveland and Houston have yet to play this season, but the Rockets won the last meeting between the two teams last season. Cleveland won three in a row before that. Eight of Houston's last nine losses have been by at least eight points, so feel comfortable taking the Cavaliers -8.5.

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