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The Los Angeles Lakers will travel to the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on Monday night to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Lakers are 13-4 and are on a two-game winning streak after defeating the Chicago Bulls 101-90 on Saturday. The Cavaliers are 8-7 and riding a three-game winning streak after defeating the Brooklyn Nets 125-113 on Friday night.
These are two of the best defenses in the entire league so this could be a huge defensive showing with a really low score. Let’s take a closer look into the Lakers and Cavs to decide where we should place our wagers.
The Chosen One
Small forward LeBron James has been one of the best players in the league as per usual. He is averaging 23.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.4 blocks in 32.4 minutes on the court. He is shooting well as he is 47.7 percent from the floor, 38.9 percent from the three-point line, and 71.7 percent from the free-throw line. In his last game against the Bulls, James played 29 minutes and finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and six turnovers. If he can figure out a way to clean up his sloppy play, it will be needed for the Lakers.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been a solid defense in the league at this point as they are giving up 106.6 points per game, which ranks 4th in the NBA. In their last game against the Brooklyn Nets, they allowed 113 points on 42-of-87 (48.3 percent) from the floor, 14-of-43 (32.6 percent) from beyond the arc, and shot 17 free-throws. If the Cavs can figure out to make this an outlier, they should be in a good spot.
Drummond Up Some Commotion
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been dependent on center Andre Drummond to carry the offensive load this season. He is averaging 18.8 points, 15.1 rebounds (which leads the NBA), three assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.6 steals in 31.4 minutes on the court. He needs to shoot the ball better with his limited range as he is 48.2 percent from the floor and 57.3 percent from the free-throw line. In his last game against the Nets, Drummond played 27 minutes and finished with 19 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, a block, and two steals. He is playing incredibly well and should be able to be a beast with the Cavs lacking in their center rotation.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been a superior defense to begin the year as they are giving up just 104.3 points per game, which is 2nd in the league. In their last game against the Bulls, they allowed 90 points on 33-of-84 (39.3 percent) from the floor, 8-of-25 (32 percent) from beyond the arc, and 22 free-throw attempts. If they can figure out how to limit the amount of free-throws against them, they will improve on the defensive end.
Cleveland: 3-12 ATS in their last 15 Monday games
Cleveland: 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games vs a team with a winning road record
Los Angeles: 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games
Los Angeles: 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Lakers are such a better team at this point and should be able to win by double digits in this game. The defenses are stout and should keep the scoring low but overall, the Lakers should be able to win big. The Lakers haven’t lost on the road this season and covered in their last five road games. The Cavs are like Garfield the cat because they suck on Mondays. Go with the Lakers giving 10 points on the road.
Full-Game Total Pick
These defenses have been top-tier this season and should be a very low-scoring. The number has dropped a full point since it opened. The under has hit in 10 of the last 11 games the Lakers were a road favorite while it also hit in 10 of the last 13 games. Go with the UNDER in this ballgame.