The NBA regular season continues with games on Friday. The Denver Nuggets will hit the road and take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s time to continue our NBA odds series and make a Nuggets-Cavaliers prediction and pick.
Both of these teams have had very similar starts to the season. The Denver Nuggets are starting to gain momentum and are coming off back-to-back wins. While the Cleveland Cavaliers have been struggling and have lost three of their last four games. This should be an interesting match-up between two competitive teams.
Here are the Nuggets-Cavaliers NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Odds: Nuggets-Cavaliers Odds
Denver Nuggets: -2.5 (-110)
Cleveland Cavaliers: +2.5 (-110)
Over: 224.5 (-110)
Under: 224.5 (-110)
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Why The Nuggets Could Cover The Spread
The Denver Nuggets have had a solid season so far. Through 70 games they have a record of 42-28. Denver will face off against a tough opponent in Cleveland on Friday, but they should be up to the challenge. This Nuggets team is coming off back-to-back wins, with their most recent victory coming over the Washington Wizards by 18. The Nuggets looked good in that game and were in control the entire time. If Denver is able to mimic that performance on Friday then they could extend their win streak to three.
The Nuggets are starting to garner respect across the league. In the game prior to their win over the Wizards, the Nuggets managed to take down an impressive 76ers team. A lot of people have the Sixers pegged as favorites to make a deep run in the playoffs, yet Denver managed to come out on top. Everything in Denver starts with Nikola Jokic. The Joker is the face of this franchise and when he is playing well, it usually means the entire team is also playing well. In the win over the Sixers, he had 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists. In the win over the Wizards, he had 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists. The Nuggets game plan starts with Jokic and it’s clearly working.
For the most part, the Nuggets have a healthy roster, but they have been dealing with injuries all season. Currently, Denver has four players listed on their injury report. Three out of four of those players have been long-term injuries that the Nuggets have been dealing with all season. The fourth player, Zeke Nnaji, is listed as questionable for Friday’s match. This Nuggets team is seriously starting to gain momentum. While the Cavs may be a tough opponent, Denver has already proven that they can step up and take on the challenge.
Why The Cavaliers Could Cover The Spread
The Cleveland Cavaliers have had a rollercoaster of a season. There have been points this year when they have been completely healthy, that they have looked like one of the more competitive teams in the league. However, injuries, COVID, and other adversities have served as roadblocks for this team. Through their first 69 games, they have a winning record of 39-30. There is still hope for this Cavs team as they look to make a playoff push. However, they are coming off a disappointing loss to the 76ers, the same team that the Nuggets just conquered. If the Cavs want to upset Denver they will really need to step things up.
The Sixers-Cavs match-up was actually a very competitive one. Cleveland had the lead going into the fourth but just couldn’t hold on. In light of their recent injuries, the Cavs have managed to make adjustments and remain competitive. Rather than lean on any one player, this Cavs team has done a good job of distributing the workload and playing as a team. Every single player saw double-digit playing time against Philly. Six out of the ten players scored in the double digits. If Cleveland wants to win games, that’s how they’re going to do it. The Cavs are capable of being competitive they just need to close out and play through four quarters.
Injuries have plagued the Cavs all season long. From the beginning of the year, when Colin Sexton was ruled out for the season, to now with Jarrett Allen sustaining a finger injury. The stars have not been aligning in Cleveland. The Cavs currently have four players listed on their injury report, none of which will be available for Friday’s contest. Expect Cleveland to come out with a similar team approach and give players opportunities to step up. This will certainly be an interesting match.
Final Nuggets-Cavaliers Prediction & Pick
This isn’t too difficult of a decision. These two teams are trending in opposite directions. While the Cavs can certainly be competitive, betting on them to come out on top against a competitive team is a losing bet. The Nuggets, on the other hand, are starting to gain momentum and respect throughout the lead. With a close spread, the pick is pretty easy. Pick the Nuggets to win and cover.
FINAL NUGGETS-CAVALIERS PICK: Denver Nuggets -2.5 (-110)
FINAL NUGGETS-CAVALIERS SCORE PREDICTION: Nuggets 115 – Cavaliers 108