Free NBA Pick: Rockets vs Cavaliers Lines
Looking for Cleveland Cavaliers free NBA picks? NBA betting sees the Rockets taking on the Hawks on Tuesday, Nov. 31, 2016 at Quicken Loans Arena. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NBA basketball matchups so stay tuned for more FREE daily NBA hoops predictions.
(2-1) Houston Rockets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (3-0)
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 1
Time: 6:00 PM EST
Venue: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
NBA Moneyline Odds: Houston -105, Sacramento -110
NBA Betting Odds: Cleveland -8.5
NBA Betting Total: 218
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have opened their season with three straight victories over the New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic. This team is proving early in the year that it can win in all fashions, having defeated the Knicks by 29, the Raptors by three and Orlando by six.
The Houston Rockets are also three games into their season. After dropping the opener to the Los Angeles Lakers, they’ve won two straight in a back-to-back over the Dallas Mavericks.
These two face off in Cleveland on NBATV Tuesday night.
There are a couple different factors at play here when it comes to the Rockets entering this contest as heavy underdogs. For starters, the Cavs have looked good and are the defending champions for a reason.
Any time you’re up against a team that has momentum, it’s going to take a strong performance to keep up.
Speaking of “defending” that is something these Rockets don’t do much of. In the opener against L.A., the team gave up 120 points.
Although the team had better showings against Dallas in each of its last two matchups, that was more a product of pace than defensive prowess.
Against Cleveland, expect Houston to once again push the pace. Mike D’Antoni isn’t going to re-create the “seven seconds or less” offense that was run so effectively by Steve Nash, Amar’e Stoudemire and the rest of those Phoenix Suns squads, but the Rockets are going to emulate that as much as possible.
With James Harden running point for this squad, the ball is always going to begin in the best playmaker’s hands. Going up against the Cavs, Harden will need to not only scoring in the high 20s at minimum, but he’ll need to get other guys involved.
Look for him to find a mix between distributing and scoring early in the contest to feel out whether guys like Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon are viable options against Cleveland.
Defensively, Cleveland will look to contain Harden as much as any team can reasonably contain one of the best scorers (if not the best) in the game. That said, the superstar guard isn’t immune from shooting inefficiently.
So far on the year, Harden is averaging an impressive 29.3 points, shooting a respectable albeit underwhelming 43.3 percent from the field and knocking down a putrid 32 percent from the three-point line.
Even worse is that Harden’s inefficient three-point shooting is coming on an excessive 8.3 attempts per game.
This is why it’s important to close out and play up on Harden. Yes, he can break down a one-on-one defender and get to the rim, but if you allow him to shoot better than 40 percent from deep, you’re going to be in an uphill battle against an offense that can do some serious damage.
Looking at the Cavs’ offense, Kyrie Irving is leading the way with 25.0 points per game; however, as is usually the case, this team relies on LeBron James as heavily as any team relies on any player.
So far this season, James is posting 21.0 points, 10.0 assists and 8.3 rebounds per night and was just named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
NBA Betting Trends:
- Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Rockets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest.
- Cavaliers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- Cavaliers are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 home games.
Free Houston Rockets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Prediction:
The Rockets are going to get their points, and James Harden won’t be an exception. But as previously mentinoed, this could be a long game for Houston if its star can’t shoot with efficiency.
4* Free NBA Betting Pick: CLE ATS
Look for Cleveland to win its fourth straight game to start the year, and look for it to be by double-digits.
NBA Free Score Prediction: Cleveland 113 – Houston 103
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