The Cleveland Cavaliers (30-20) host the New Orleans Pelicans (18-31) Monday at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for a 7 p.m. ET tip-off. Below, we look at the Pelicans vs. Cavaliers odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
NOLA has lost three consecutive games with the latest being a 107-97 home loss as a 7-point underdog to the Boston Celtics Saturday. The Pelicans are 2-4 straight up (SU) and 2-3-1 against the spread (ATS) over the past two weeks.
Cleveland had a three-game winning streak snapped Sunday after losing at the Detroit Pistons 115-105 as a 7.5-point favorite. The Cavs are 4-2 SU and 2-4 ATS in the last 14 days.
The Pelicans (+4.5) rallied back from a 19-point, first-quarter deficit to upset the Cavs 108-104 in their first head-to-head meeting this season Dec. 28 with the Over (210) cashing.
However, Cleveland was without PG Darius Garland and C Jarrett Allen, while NOLA was missing SF Brandon Ingram and SG Josh Hart.
Pelicans at Cavaliers 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 p.m. ET.
Money line: Pelicans +260 (bet $100 to win $260) | Cavaliers -340 (bet $340 to win $100)
Against the spread: Pelicans +7.5 (-115) | Cavaliers -7.5 (-107)
Over/Under (O/U): 210.5 (O: -108 | U: -112)
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Pelicans at Cavaliers key injuries
SG Josh Hart (knee) questionable
SF Brandon Ingram (ankle) questionable
C Jonas Valanciunas (illness) questionable
PG Darius Garland (back) questionable
PF Lauri Markkanen (ankle) out
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Pelicans at Cavaliers odds, lines, picks and predictions
Cavaliers 105, Pelicans 101
PASS with a heavy “lean” toward the Pelicans (+260) since I’m taking NOLA plus the points. Typically, I’ll sprinkle on an underdog’s money line when betting it to cover the spread.
But until NOLA’s official starting 5 is announced I cannot make an ML wager in this game. However, there has been line movement toward the Pelicans since they opened as +280 underdogs.
I’d assume that line movement is due to anticipation that NOLA will receive good injury luck for this game.
Three Pelicans starters are listed on the injury report as “questionable” and all three have a plus-11.0 points per 100 possessions adjusted on/off net rating or higher, according to CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG).
Against the spread
LEAN to the PELICANS +7.5 (-115) for a half-unit, which would be upgraded to a full-unit wager if Hart, Ingram and Valanciunas are active.
NOLA’s regular starting 5 scores 11.7 more points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time, which grades in the 68th percentile of lineups.
Also, the Pelicans have beaten the Cavs in seven consecutive meetings and has covered in five of those wins.
BET UNDER 210.5 (-112). The Pelicans are 1-5 O/U in their last six games as underdogs, the Cavs are 0-4 O/U in their last four as home favorites and both teams play at a bottom-10 pace.
If Ingram and Valanciunas play, NOLA will play more half-court basketball. If they don’t play, the Pelicans will be missing their top-two scorers.
Both teams have top-10 rebounding rates, are top 10 in second-chance points per game (PPG) allowed and are above-average in paint PPG allowed.
Lastly, there’s been a sharp line move heading south of the total as it opened at 212.5 before being steamed down to the current number.
UNDER 210.5 (-112) is my favorite wager in this game.
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