Cleveland Cavaliers @ Brooklyn Nets Game Preview and Pick

The Brooklyn Nets have been on a bit of a slide since the All-Star break and are currently in the midst of a three-game losing streak. They will look to get back into the win column tonight at home as they play host to a strong Cavaliers team. We’ll preview the game before going over why I’ll be targeting a first-half bet in this one.

Game Preview

The Cleveland Cavaliers are playing like they can taste clinching a spot in the playoffs soon, as they are 7-3 over their last ten games and have the second-best NET rating in the league at 9.3 in that span. All season, the Cavaliers have boasted one of the better defensive units in the league. That has been on full display recently with their 108 defensive efficiency rating over the past ten games, which is the best in the NBA.

Over their recent ten-game stretch, Cleveland has held five of their opponents to 104 points or less and has kept all ten opponents to an average of just 38.5 made field goals per game. Opposing teams have also struggled to succeed from deep against Cleveland, averaging just 11 made three’s over the past ten games against them. In the Cavs' most recent win, they held Washington to just eight threes on 35% shooting from deep.

The inability to consistently get off clean three-point looks is likely not something the struggling Brooklyn Nets would want to face right now. Brooklyn is 5-5 over the past ten games, but as I mentioned, they have lost three straight games. Over this recent ten-game stretch, Brooklyn is getting 37.9% of their points from three, which is the sixth-highest percentage in the league, yet that high percentage is not helping them come away with wins.

Even with the heavy dosage of threes, the Nets rank 27th in the league in offensive efficiency over the past ten games. The offensive struggles have been on full display during their losing streak, as they have not scored more than 107 points in that span and were recently held to just 96 points by a Kings team that is 27th in defensive efficiency over the past ten games.

Pick for the Game

The Cavs are currently favored by (-3) points, but I’ll be targeting their first-half spread at (-1.5) for my play in this one. Cleveland is 36-34-3 ATS this season in the 1H and is 6-4 ATS in the first half of their last ten games. In that same ten-game stretch, Brooklyn is 3-7 ATS, and on the season, they are 29-41-1 ATS in the 1H, which has them at an ROI of -20.63%.

The disparity in 1H NET rating between these two teams is immense over these last ten games, as Cleveland has the third-best rating at 10.7, while Brooklyn is 29th with a -10.2 rating. Cleveland is one of the last defensive units, a team struggling on offense wants to see, especially when they have been consistently getting off to slow starts.

Brooklyn is 25th in offensive efficiency in the first half of their last ten games, and in that span, they have the fourth-worst effective field goal percentage in the league. That type of production will not match up well with a Cavs team that is third in 1H defensive rating in the same stretch and holding opponents to an average of 40.7 field goal attempts in the first half.


  • Cleveland Cavaliers 1H (-1.5)

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