April 3rd 2013 - Posted 5:25 PM Eastern Time


There are several teams we lean towards tonight but ultimately we have chosen Cleveland as our only play of the night.


Take Cleveland Cavaliers at +5 spread against Brooklyn Nets risking 3 Units (7:05 PM)

I realize that it is tough to back a team such as Cleveland given the fact that they have lost 9 straight games but I feel that this is not only a bad match-up for Brooklyn but that Cleveland is actually catching the Nets in an extremely bad spot tonight with a very important game on deck tomorrow night with the Chicago Bulls. Much like last night where we selected the Washington Wizards to defeat the Bulls partly due to a potential look-ahead spot, I am seeing a similar trend tonight with Brooklyn. In this case, Brooklyn's game against The Bulls is even closer as it's taking place tomorrow night and they are probably looking ahead to their date with the Bulls and simply disregarding Cleveland tonight. That is extremely dangerous especially against a team that has a deep desire to end their recent losing streak in front of their home fans.

Cleveland has an extremely good pick and roll offense led by Kyrie Irving. Irving is one of the best ball handlers in the game and can actually take a game over at a moment's notice. This could potentially spell bad news for the Nets as Deron Williams is actually not a very good defender when chasing a player off a pick and roll and Brook Lopez, while being big is a bit too slow to shift over. This is going to cause the lane to open up and Irving (or whoever is driving to the basket) should be able to get good looks at the rim. Brooklyn is also a team that is extremely inconsistent on offense. On one night they will score 100+ points and then in their next game come out and score 85. There is just no real consistency with this team. This is also going to be their last game on a 8 game road trip with a big home game against the Bulls tomorrow night. It wouldn't surprise me one bit for the Nets to come out tonight and try to conserve some energy for their game tomorrow and look forward to being at the comfort of home court tomorrow.

Cleveland has also had some past success against Brooklyn. While they are not a 30 or 40 win team this season, they have at least played the Nets competitive in recent history. There have only been 2 times out of the last 10 meeting where the Nets have beaten the Cavs by more than 5 points! One was at home back in November and the other on the road back back in 2010. Historically these two teams play each-other pretty close with the game coming down to the final minute. The Nets have also dropped their last 2 games both SU and ATS. Fatigue could be setting in on this long road trip and the players may be looking forward to going back home.

Cleveland, although on a 9 game losing streak has not lost more than 9 games since a 26 game skid back more than 2 years ago. They are not making the playoffs this season but that doesn't mean that they don't have anything to play for. When a team knows their fate at the end of the season, they simply play "for next season", to get some momentum built heading into the off-season. When a team has no pressure of playoff basketball, they are free to go out and play loose and free and not worry so much about "winning and losing", that is when some of the best can come out of a young team. Even though Cleveland is not a "strong" team, I believe this is a strong situation to back them with Brooklyn simply looking ahead to not only the Bulls but also to going back home. 5 points is too much to lay on the road with Brooklyn tonight. Take the points with the home team.

Some Trends to consider:

- Cavs are 5-1 ATS in their last six games after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game

- Cavs are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 against Eastern Conference opponents.



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