The Cleveland Cavaliers (35-23) visit Little Caesars Arena Thursday to take on the Detroit Pistons (13-45). Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Cavaliers vs. Pistons odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
Coming off a thrilling All-Star Weekend in their home city, the Cavaliers will take to the road for a short one-game trip before returning home to take on Washington Saturday.
Cleveland is 34-22-2 against the spread (ATS) and has a 17-14 straight up (SU) road record. The Cavs feature the best defense in the league, yielding just 102.5 points per game (PPG).
As for Detroit, scoring has been a major problem. The Pistons’ 102.6 PPG ranks 29th. They are an ugly 8-20 SU at home, just 3-7 ATS over their last 10 overall games and 27-31 ATS on the season. Thursday’s tilt is the first of a two-game homestand for Detroit.
Cavaliers at Pistons odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Money line: Cavaliers -250 (bet $250 to win $100) | Pistons +200 (bet $100 to win $200)
Against the spread: Cavaliers -6.5 (-105) | Pistons +6.5 (-120)
Over/Under (O/U): 208.5 (O: -107 | U: -115)
Cavaliers at Pistons key injuries
PG Darius Garland (back) out
SG Caris LeVert (foot) out
PF Lauri Markkanen (ankle) probable
PG Frank Jackson (back) probable
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Cavaliers at Pistons odds, lines, picks and predictions
Cleveland 103, Detroit 99
Detroit (+200) is the only playable side given Cleveland will be without its two best shot creators in Garland and LeVert. Nonetheless, I’d still look toward the points for value in this one.
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Against the spread
BET PISTONS +6.5 (-120).
Despite Cleveland being immensely better ATS on the season, both teams have a 50% cover rate in their current situation. Detroit is 12-12 ATS as a home underdog, while Cleveland is 5-5-1 as a road favorite.
The real difference here is the absence of Garland. The Cavs have been without their star guard for 11 games this season, posting a 6-5 record in those matches.
However, they’ve won just 1 of them by more than 7 points. That sole dominant performance was against a Pacers team down PG Malcolm Brogdon, C Myles Turner and LeVert, who was recently traded to the Cavs.
Cleveland’s defense should still propel it to victory, but the loss of playmaking is going to play a huge factor.
LEAN to the UNDER 208.5 (-115).
While the Cavaliers will be without LeVert and Garland, the twin towers of C Evan Mobley and C Jarrett Allen will still be just as dominant.
This the third head-to-head meeting of the season between the Central Division rivals. They split their first two games, including covering the spread, with the O/U also 1-1.
Cleveland held Detroit to 78 points in a 20-point home win (Nov. 12), but allowed 115 in a 10-point loss at Little Caesars (Jan. 30). Cleveland scored 98 and 105 points in those games, respectively.
With Cleveland the second-worst Over team in the NBA at 22-36 O/U (only Dallas is worse), expect its defense to reign supreme and help the Cavaliers come out on top.
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