The Denver Nuggets (26-11) challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers (11-27) at the Pepsi Center. The game will air on Altitude Sports & Entertainmnt at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 11, 2020.
Cleveland Cavaliers at Denver Nuggets Free Prediction
In the Cavaliers’ last matchup, they narrowly defeated the Detroit Pistons, 115-112, as 7.5-point underdogs. The total points for the game (227) came in over the projected point total of 220.5. The Cavaliers had a better free throw rate (0.154 vs. 0.102) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.555 (above their season average of 0.511). With 35 points on 15-for-20 shooting, Tristan Thompson was the game’s leading scorer.
The Nuggets edged the Dallas Mavericks in their last contest, 107-106, despite being 4.5-point underdogs. The game’s combined points (213) finished under the O/U total of 223.5. Denver’s 22.0 offensive rebounding percentage was their biggest advantage over Dallas, who had a rate of 17.1. The Nuggets’ mark was below their season average of 24.9, while the Mavericks’ was below their season average of 24.3. Nikola Jokic was the game’s high scorer with 33 points on 12-for-20 shooting from the field.
After the Nuggets won both contests against the Cavaliers last season, these teams will clash for the first time this year. In the most recent matchup, Denver won 124-102. The Nuggets had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (34.3 vs. 13.9) and had a better turnover percentage (10.5 vs. 12.6).
Cleveland comes into the contest with records of 11-27 straight up (SU) and 16-20-2 against the spread (ATS). Vegas has typically been fairly accurate when setting the O/U total of Cavaliers games, with 20 overs compared to 18 unders.
Denver has an excellent 26-11 SU record, but they struggle covering the spread (14-18-5 ATS). Of the Nuggets’ 37 games, 21 have finished under the projected point total.
Half-court execution will be critical when two of the NBA’s slowest-paced teams square off. Denver ranks 27th in possessions per game (100.3) and Cleveland is 22nd (101.4).
Cleveland Cavaliers at Denver Nuggets Free Pick
NBA Pick: ATS Winner – Nuggets, O/U – Over
Cleveland is 8-9-1 ATS on the road with 10 overs and 8 unders.
Denver is 6-10-3 ATS at home with 12 unders and 7 overs.
In contests where they allow below 100 points, Denver is 10-1 and Cleveland is 4-3.
When reaching 100 points, the Cavaliers are 10-17 and the Nuggets are 24-7.
Denver ranks third in points off turnovers allowed per game (14.4) while Cleveland ranks last (19.8).
The Nuggets average 26.3 assists per game, which ranks fourth in the NBA. The Cavaliers rank 28th in assists allowed per game (25.7).
Denver averages 50.1 points in the paint per game, which ranks sixth in the league. Cleveland ranks 29th in points allowed in the paint per game (52.7).
The Nuggets rank seventh in steals allowed per game (7.1) while the Cavaliers rank 29th (8.8).
Denver ranks 10th in blocks allowed per game (4.7) while Cleveland ranks 28th (6.7).
The Nuggets average 14.0 second chance points per game, which ranks seventh in the league. The Cavaliers rank 16th in second chance points allowed per game (13.2).
Cleveland ranks 21st in three pointers attempted per game (31.5) while Denver ranks 26th (29.8).
The Nuggets rank 24th in fast break points per game (11.5) while the Cavaliers rank 26th (10.6).
Over its last five games, Cleveland is 2-3 ATS with 5 overs.
Denver is 3-2 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under over its last five games.
The Cavaliers’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 6.4, down from 8.7 for the season.
During their last five games, the Nuggets have scored an average of 114.4 points per game (5.3 above their season average) and allowed an average of 119.0 points per game (13.8 above their season average).