The Cleveland Cavaliers (21-17) look to avoid another losing streak as they take on the Portland Trail Blazers (14-23) this Friday evening. Cleveland lost 110-106 as a home favorite to the surging Grizzlies on Tuesday.
Portland is on a 4-15 run over the last 19 games and lost 115-109 to Miami on Wednesday. Let’s see what the NBA odds tell us!
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Friday, January 7, 2022 – 10:00 PM EST at Moda Center
The Cavaliers (25-11-2 ATS) are a 5-point road favorite over the Trail Blazers (13-24 ATS) at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks. Simply put, Cleveland brings the best spread record in the NBA to face a Portland team with the worst spread record this season. Do the season trends continue?
Last Meeting: Cavaliers 107, Trail Blazers 104
These teams met once this season in early November in a competitive game. Cleveland led for nearly 35 minutes, but Portland was within one possession multiple times in the final three minutes. Damian Lillard missed four shots down the stretch, including a game-tying three-point attempt at the buzzer. Lillard only scored 26 points on 27 shots, but he was a plus-5 as all but one of Portland’s starters finished with a plus figure.
Cleveland got 24 points and a season-high 17 rebounds out of Jarrett Allen. Cleveland is 13-3 this season when Allen has more than 10 rebounds, and his over/under for the game is set at 10.5 rebounds. Cleveland ranks 7th in rebound percentage while Portland is 16th.
But both teams are going to look significantly different from the lineups they had on November 3. Damian Lillard (abdominal) and C.J. McCollum (lung) remain out for the Trail Blazers with injuries. Lillard will be re-evaluated next week before he can return to action. Cleveland lost Collin Sexton (knee) for the season just a few games after the Portland matchup in November. Ricky Rubio has also gone down recently for the season with a torn ACL.
Players to Watch
For Cleveland, point guard Darius Garland is making a leap in his third season and taking over as the team’s leading scorer (19.7 points per game) in Sexton’s absence. He just returned from a four-game absence himself in a rough game against Memphis, shooting 9-of-26 from the field for an inefficient 27 points.
Cleveland is 14-3 when Garland shoots at least 46% from the field, so he needs a bounce-back performance. He had 10 assists against Memphis and 10 assists in the first Portland game. Kevin Love is another Cleveland player in need of a better showing from Tuesday.
The veteran was 6-of-18 shooting against Memphis, his worst shooting game of the season in any game where he took at least 10 shots. His 18 shots tied a season-high. Love had been hot coming off the bench and had five straight 20-point games before being held to 18 against Memphis.
Guard Anfernee Simons has had a big week for Portland in Lillard’s absence. He had the game of his career with 43 points against Atlanta on Monday. He cooled down a little against Miami, but still made five threes and his 28 points were his second-highest total in a game this season.
Simons was the ninth-leading scorer on Portland a season ago, but without Lillard and McCollum, Simons has to fill some big shoes to help the offense overcome the worst Defensive Rating in the league.
Norman Powell has scored 26 points in consecutive games, but things have not gone well with his increased role out of necessity in Portland. The Trail Blazers are 4-16 when Powell attempts at least 12 field goals and 3-11 when he scores more than 18 points this season.
As a favorite of at least five points this season, Cleveland is 7-0 ATS with every win by at least 11 points. Portland has only had five games decided by fewer than five points (either way) this season. I am going to trust the No. 3 defense to hold up against the No. 30 defense and for the Cavaliers to cover for your NBA picks this Friday.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.