Cleveland Cavaliers vs Houston Rockets

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers will travel to the Toyota Center on Monday night to take on the Houston Rockets in an interconference matchup. This is the second and final time these teams will face off against each other. In their first game back on Wednesday in Cleveland, the Cavs picked up a 112-96 win. The Cavaliers are 14th in the Eastern Conference with a 13-21 record. They are riding a three-game winning streak after going on the road and defeating the Philadelphia 76ers in overtime 112-109 on Saturday. The Rockets are 14th in the Western Conference with an 11-20 record. They are riding a 10-game losing streak and played the Memphis Grizzlies last night.

These teams have been playing very similar on the defensive side of the court so it will be interesting to see which offense can take advantage. Let’s take a deeper dive into the matchup to decide where we should be placing our wagers.

The Next Big Scorer?

Point guard Collin Sexton has been one of the best young players in the league as per usual. He is averaging 23.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.1 steals in 35.9 minutes on the court. His shooting numbers are doing well so far as he is 48.3 percent from the floor, 39.3 percent from the three-point line, and 80.2 percent from the free-throw line. In his last game against the 76ers, Sexton played 45 minutes and finished with 28 points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals, and four turnovers. If he can figure out a way to score the ball as well as he did here while cutting on the turnovers, the Cavs will be competitive here.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have a below-average defense in the league at this point as they are giving up 112.6 points per game, which ranks 19th in the NBA. In their last game against the Philadelphia 76ers, they allowed 109 points on 38-of-84 (45.2 percent) from the floor, 10-of-28 (35.7 percent) from beyond the arc, and shot 35 free-throws. If the Cavs can figure out how to defend without fouling, they will be in a great spot.

To The Windows…

Point guard John Wall will have to step up even more than his team-leading scoring for the Houston Rockets. He is averaging 20.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.4 assists, a steal, and 0.7 blocks in 31.1 minutes on the court. He is close to his career numbers as he is 43.2 percent from the floor, 34.9 percent from the three-point line, and 75.5 percent from the free-throw line. In his last game against the Raptors, Wall played 36 minutes and finished with 21 points, two rebounds, 12 assists, and a block. He has been doing well and needs to stuff the stat sheet for the Rockets to be in this game.

The Houston Rockets have been an average defense in the league at this point as they are giving up 111.9 points per game, which ranks 14th in the NBA. In their last game against the Toronto Raptors, they allowed 122 points on 40-of-89 (44.9 percent) from the floor, 16-of-41 (39 percent) from beyond the arc, and shot 27 free-throws. If the Rockets can lower the number of open looks they allow from the three-point line, they will be even better on the defensive side.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

Steal percentage can be a big factor as it tells you what percent they are forcing the opponents to turn the ball over via the steal. The Cavs are fourth in the league at 8.4 percent while the Rockets are 11th at 7.7 percent. Offensive rebounding percentage is important as it gives you easy looks at the basket. Cleveland is second in the league with 25.8 percent while Houston is 27th in the league with 18.8 percent and will continue to decrease with the injury to Christian Wood and the release of DeMarcus Cousins. The Cavaliers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games but the Rockets are even worse at 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games. These teams don’t cover often but I feel more comfortable with the Cavs covering on the road here.


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Full-Game Total Pick

These teams play at a different pace as the Rockets run and gun while the Cavs are more of a half-court offense. This type of clashing leads to unders as the faster teams are forced into less possessions. The Cavaliers are 26th in the league in pace with 97.9 possessions per 48 minutes while the Rockets are sixth in terms of pace with 101.2 possessions. Three-point percentage can help lead you in these types of wagers as Cleveland is 27th in the league at 34.5 percent from beyond the arc while Houston is dead last with 33.9 percent. The under has hit in five of the last six games for the Cavaliers while the Rockets had the under hit in two of the last three games.