Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:30 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Cleveland -1½ over Brooklyn
7:00 PM EST. The Cavs have been playing some pretty good ball, but they are being overshadowed by Brooklyn’s current run. Cleveland was riding a five-game winning streak before they ran into the improving Raptors on Friday night. We were on Toronto in that game, but we have no problem backing the Cavs tonight, as this is a team that is often worthy of consideration. Cleveland was a popular pick in the market that night, which sets them up for the perfect “zig-zag” spot here, as the market has a new shiny toy to play with in the Nets. While all things are not equal, we believe it’s worth noting how the Cavs played on Boxing Day last season, where they won by 45—144-99 over Toronto.
Now to the “A-side” in this wager, as the Nets have won eight straight games, with their 118-100 win over the Bucks on Friday night being the exclamation point on that run so far. If you read the New York papers, the Nets are, “coming for everybody,” that is at least according to Nic Claxton. We focus on Claxton here because he is one of the links between the Nets and Cavaliers, as he is the man who replaced All-Star center Jarrett Allen who the Nets traded to Cleveland because they needed a first round pick to pull off the trade for James Harden, who is now in Philadelphia if you are wondering how that trade worked out.
As impressive as that win against the Bucks might look on the surface, it's worth noting that Miluakee was without Khris Middleton, just as it was yesterday when Boston waffled the Bucks. Prior to that, the Nets were feasting on cupcakes like the Hornets, Pacers, Wizards, Pistons, Raptors and the undermanned Warriors, who were missing Step Curry, and Klay Thompson. We’d also like to note that the Nets went down a combined 37 points to the Raps and Pistons, and needed an 18-point comeback to beat Toronto and a 19-point comeback to beat Detroit. When you play from behind like that consistently, you are going to get burned. The Cavs are not the Pistons or even the Raptors. They are a great team that is still not being respected at that level. No squad in the NBA has a betting scoring differential, that is to say, when the Cavs win, they don’t let up very often. If the Nets go down here, it’s going to be a long day at the office. Even if they don’t, the Cavs are more than capable of covering this deflated price against and overhyped and overrated invader.
Cleveland -1½ -105 (Risking 2.10 units - To Win: 2.00)