Play-In Games for the NBA season tip off on Tuesday, April 12 with two games scheduled, so we’re taking a closer look at the Eastern Conference showdown at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, to get you the best Cavaliers vs. Nets betting pick and odds.
This is the fifth contest between these teams. Brooklyn has won three of the four meetings this season including winning both contests in Brooklyn, so it is not surprising that the Nets enter as a 9.5-point favorite with the total set at 227.0 on DraftKings NY.
Cavaliers Snap Skid to Close Season
The Cleveland Cavaliers (44-38; 42-37-3 ATS) ended a three-game losing streak to close out the season by defeating the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, 133-115. Cleveland has been in a terrible rut of late, going 3-7 over their last 10 games, helping to drop them into this play-in game. The Cavaliers finished the regular season 19-22 on the road and are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games.
Cleveland dominated in the victory over Milwaukee, jumping out to a 46-20 lead after the first quarter. This has been a solid shooting team all season, ninth in the NBA in field-goal percentage (46.9%), and that was on display in the victory, as the team shot 54.3% from the field, including 50.0% from three-point range. Kevin Love came off the bench to lead the club with 32 points and 10 rebounds, as he closed out the season sixth on the team in scoring (13.6 ppg).
Cleveland is a team built on defense, as they are fifth in the NBA in points allowed per contest (105.7). They have done an outstanding job in holding teams down, as opponents have shot 45.2% against them, eighth overall, while averaging 42.9 rebounds per contest, sixth in the NBA.
Nets Win Fourth Straight to Close Out Season
The Brooklyn Nets (44-38; 33-47-2 ATS) closed out the regular season with a 134-126 victory over Indiana on Sunday. That was the fourth straight victory for the team, as they closed out their final 10 contests going 6-4, but were also 3-7 ATS in their last 10. The Nets are 20-21 at home.
Brooklyn dominated the first quarter in their victory over Indiana, taking a 41-29 lead. Brooklyn has been an outstanding scoring team all season, fourth in the NBA in field-goal percentage (47.5%) and ninth in points per game (112.9). The team shot 64.2% from the field in the victory over the Pacers, led by Kyrie Irving who had 35 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. MVP candidate Kevin Durant added 20 points, 16 assists, and 10 rebounds, finishing the season at 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game.
The Nets were 18th in points allowed per contest (112.1), but did a good job in limiting opponent’s success, as the team was seventh in opponent field-goal percentage (45.2%) and eighth in opponent three-point shooting (34.5%). The Nets held three of their final four opponents to 107 points or fewer while scoring 118 or more in three of their final four games.
- 26-10-2 ATS in their last 38 games following an ATS victory.
- 2-6 ATS in their last eight games.
- 6-26-1 ATS in their last 33 games at home.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Brooklyn Nets Pick
While it is likely that Brooklyn comes away with a victory in this contest, expecting them to win by at least 10 points is a stretch. Oddsmakers must have looked at the fact that the Nets defeated the Cavaliers by at least 10 points in each of the contests in Brooklyn during the regular season, and concluded that they had a lot to do in this game.
However, this is a team that rarely covered the spread at home, doing so in just six of their last 33 games. Plus, this is the playoffs now. Teams need to be more careful and the tension mounts with every shot attempt. That keeps the scoring lower as this will be a much closer contest and oddsmakers believe.
Pick: Take Cleveland Cavaliers at +9.5
These teams have gone over in five of the last seven meetings, but only one of those meetings exceeded 227 points, where 229 were scored on November 22. The two times these teams met in Brooklyn this season, 225 points and 208 points were scored.
Cleveland understands that they need to play a slowdown game to neutralize the offensive talent of the Nets. A run and gun game is going to doom them to lose, so look for a total somewhere around 221.
Pick: Go under 227.0