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NBA preview and tips: Cleveland Cavaliers at Brooklyn Nets

After successful picks on Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics our man takes a close look at Thursday's NBA clash at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn.

The Brooklyn Nets (39-33) host the Cleveland Cavaliers (46-28) with revenge on their mind. The sides met here just two days ago when the Cavs edged a close one. Just like in that first game, the point spread opened at -5, whilst the total was set at 220.
There have been two noticeable movements since the betting opened. Cleveland have dropped to a -4 favourite, even -3.5 at some outlets, and the total has dropped from 220 to 218.
The first meeting between the sides finished 115-109 in favour of the visiting Cavaliers, meaning the -4 was covered and the game went over the total of 217.5. Both numbers were upped as a reaction to that contest, but that doesn't seem quite right.
Often times you'll see a pair of teams play back-to-back like this and the numbers won't really move, even if the total does go over. That's because back-to-back meetings like this allow for a day of reflection and adjustment, and in this case, both teams are capable defensively.
Brooklyn are allowing 109.85 points per game at home whilst the Cavaliers are giving up 108.61ppg on their travels. Neither team plays at pace and Cleveland in particular are pretty happy to slow the play and grind out victories on the defensive end of the court.
Another thing to highlight from the first game is that the Nets shot just 44% from the field, although they did have only one less made field goal than the Cavs. The real difference was the Nets shooting 9/33 from three-point range, whilst Cleveland shot 48% from beyond the arc.
There are a few numbers in there that you'd expect to balance out a little bit this evening, like the Nets shooting percentage, and also making sure they don't give Cleveland so many good opportunities from deep.
The Under is 7-3 in the Nets last 10 games overall and 4-1 when they're a home underdog. For all the ways in which the Cavs trend over right now, this remains a situational play in that you'd just expect a better effort from Brooklyn, and perhaps they'll make some adjustments that help them keep the Cavaliers within striking distance.
Nets are 11-4ATS as an underdog of 5 to 10.5 points, which is where this line opened. They're also 6-2ATS in their last eight against a team with a losing road record. The first game was close enough, and we should remember that Cleveland are not the same beast on their travels that they are at home.

Suggested bets

Brooklyn Nets +4

Under 218

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