The Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs close down their two-game regular-season series Monday night, so I bring you the best betting pick for their interconference showdown at AT&T Center in San Antonio.
Back in March, the Spurs outlasted the Cavs as 5-point road underdogs, 116-110. They opened as 9-point favorites for Monday’s game on BetMGM Sportsbook, while the totals sit at 216.5 points.
San Antonio is without Lonnie Walker (wrist) and Trey Lyles (ankle), while Gorgui Dieng (shoulder) is questionable to play. On the other side, Cleveland misses Jarrett Allen (concussion) and Larry Nance Jr. (illness).
The Cavs’ free fall continues
The Cleveland Cavaliers (17-32; 19-30 ATS) are on a five-game losing streak following a 115-101 defeat at the Miami Heat this past Saturday. They failed to cover an 11-point spread, trailing by double digits for most of the game.
The Cavs couldn’t cope with Miami’s offense, allowing a whopping 35 assists. Also, the Heat shot 53.7% from the field and 39.5% from downtown. The Cavaliers made 47.3% of their field goals, while Collin Sexton led the way with 26 points and three assists.
Cleveland is tied with Orlando for the No. 13 seed in the Eastern Conference, trailing huge seven games behind the eighth-seeded Boston Celtics. The Cavs own the worst offensive rating in the NBA, scoring only 104.4 points per 100 possessions, while their defensive rating is the eighth-worst in the league (113.0).
The Spurs dropped seven of their last nine games
The San Antonio Spurs (24-23; 25-22 ATS) have struggled mightily over the last few weeks, going 2-7 straight up and 3-6 ATS over their previous nine games overall. The Spurs are winless in two straight outings, suffering a pair of tough losses to Indiana 139-133 in overtime and Atlanta 134-129 in double overtime.
After dropping 36 points on the Hawks, DeMar DeRozan accounted for 25 points and six assists against the Pacers this past Saturday. The Spurs had a solid shooting night, making 48.5% of their field goals, but San Antonio’s defense was a big issue, allowing the Pacers to shoot 55.3% from the field and 41.4% from beyond the arc.
San Antonio is the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, just half a game ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies and 2.5 games behind the Dallas Mavericks. The Spurs tally 110.6 points per 100 possessions (18th in the NBA) and surrender 111.7 in a return (12th).
- 1-4 ATS in the last five games overall
- 3-15 ATS in the last 18 games against the Western Conference
- 6-3 ATS in the last nine games against Cleveland
- 5-1 ATS in the last six tilts against the Central Division
After a couple of overtime losses, I’m expecting the Spurs to bounce back in a favorable matchup with the Cavaliers. San Antonio desperately needs a win here to stay in the playoff picture, and, frankly, the Spurs have to win games like this one if they want to reach the playoffs.
Covering a huge spread might be a problem, but the Cavs have been awful against the spread recently. They’ve covered just four times over their last 13 outings at any location.
Pick: Take San Antonio -9.0 at -110
The Spurs have to improve defensively as soon as possible after yielding 132 or more points in three of their previous four games overall. The clash against the hapless Cavaliers seems like a nice opportunity for a bounce-back performance, as I’ve already mentioned that Cleveland’s offense is the worst in the league.
The over is 4-1 in San Antonio’s last five contests, but the under is 5-1 in Cleveland’s previous six tilts overall. I’m looking for the Spurs’ defense to step up, so give me the under on the totals.
Pick: Go under 216.5 points at -110