Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Denver Nuggets – NBA, February 10, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| February 10, 2021 2:33 am PDT

Both of these teams find themselves in third position of their respected Divisions, but the Nuggets are the only ones occupying a playoff berth at present. Both of their Divisions have runaway leaders in the Bucks and the Jazz, and it will take some going to catch and dislodge them from the top spot. However, they both have the second-placed teams in their sights, so a win here tonight is crucial for them.

Things have been very close between these teams recently, with them both winning three of the last six head-to-head games.

When I analyze the previous ten games between them, one stat stands out, and that is how well they are shooting against each other. But despite that, their games haven’t been very high scoring.

Here are the game odds, my team analysis, and betting prediction for the Cavaliers vs. Nuggets.

Cavaliers vs. Nuggets Odds

Cavaliers (+9.5) -110
Nuggets (-9.5) -110
Cavaliers To Win +370
Nuggets To Win -450
Over 223 Points -110
Under 223 Points -110

My initial thoughts are that the spread looks very high for this one. When you take into account their close records this season and the knowledge that the Cavs have averaged one more point than the Nuggets over the previous ten meetings, then you have to sway towards Cleveland. The points total has dropped a couple of points since the betting opened, and I would say it looks about right.

Cavaliers News

The Cavaliers are in freefall right now, having only won two of their last ten matches. They have lost the previous four in a row by some hefty margins. However, during that dreadful run, they have had some very tough opponents in the Clippers, the Bucks (twice), and the Suns.

They have an abysmal record on their travels, having only picked up three wins from their 11 games this season. This includes losing the previous five games in a row.

Here are the latest betting trends for Cleveland:

Bet Type Trend
ATS They have lost their last seven games in a row.
Total Five of their previous seven games have gone under the betting total.
ATS The Cavs have lost their last five on the road.
SU They have won on five of their previous seven visits to Denver.
SU Cleveland has only won one of their last seven games against Western Conference opposition.
Total The total has gone under in six of their previous seven matches when playing against teams based in the Northwest Division.

The above trends highlight their recent struggles and suggest there might not be many points on offer tonight.

The Cavaliers offense stinks this season, and they are averaging just 103 points per game, which is next to impossible for their defense to defend against.

Their woes on the road this season have purely been down to their lack of points on the board as they only average 98 points per game, which is the lowest in the league.

The Cavs haven’t shot particularly well this season and have some of the lowest figures in the league, especially from the free-throw line, where they have the lowest scoring percentage in the NBA.

They are also turning the ball over far too often, which along with their poor shooting, is a combination that must be a dream to play against.

They have a good defense, and most of their focus is on this area of their game, which is understandable. However, there is certainly room for improvement, especially in their rebounding game, where they are averaging only 32 per game, the third-lowest in the league.

What they do well is hustle their opponents, making a large number of steals and forcing them into errors. Larry Nance Junior has been the key figure in this area, but he is set to miss 4-6 weeks due to a recent finger injury, which is a big dent to Cleveland’s hopes of a revival.

Andre Drummond has been an integral part of their defense, and he seems to be the leader of the troops. However, many rumors speculate that he could be on his way out of Cleveland, with Toronto leading the chase for his signature.

As well as Nance Junior, the Cavs will be missing Love and Dellavedova for tonight’s game.

Nuggets News

The Nuggets are also finding things hard as of late, winning just one of their previous five games. This also includes losing the last three straight, so there could certainly be a lack of confidence from each team tonight.

They have a slightly negative record of 5-6 at home this season, but their form has been better as of late. Denver has won three of their last five games, all by margins of at least ten points. However, they were battered by the Bucks last night and went down 112-125. The game started like a house on fire, as the points were spread quickly, totaling 79 by the end of the first quarter, with the Nuggets scoring 42 of those. However, neither team could keep that sort of pace up, but the Bucks finished the stronger and picked up the victory.

Here are the latest betting trends for Denver:

Bet Type Trend
ATS The Nuggets have only won one of their last five matches.
Total Four of their previous five games have gone over the betting total.
Total The total has gone under in four of the last five games between these two.
Total Games at the Ball Arena have tended to be high scoring and entertaining as nine of the previous 13 matches have gone over the points total.
ATS Denver is 2-5 in their last seven games against teams from the East Coast.
ATS They have only won four of their previous 13 games against teams in the Central Division.
SU Cleveland has lost four of their last five games played in February.

It’s hard to work out a clear pattern when looking at the above data. The Nuggets games are usually high scoring, well that is, until they play against the Cavs.

Denver has a great offense that is a match for any team in the NBA. They average 115 points per game and are pretty accurate from all around the court. They also recycle the ball well up top, which is a deadly combination.

Their defense isn’t the best and has let them down more often than not this season. They aren’t marking up well enough, allowing their opponents too much time and space on the ball. They need to get tighter to their opponents and start blocking the ball more.

This season has been all about one man for the Nuggets, and he is Nikola Jokic. The thing I’m like most about him is that he can still play well when the team isn’t winning. It’s often easy to do well in a team that is winning and brimming with confidence, but it shows guts to dig deep and play well when you’re losing. He did that in their recent loss to the Kings when he posted a career-high 50 points.

The Nuggets have plenty of injuries right now, and they will miss Harris, Cancar, Dozier, and Whittington tonight. However, Campazzo is expected to recover in time from a knee injury that has been troubling him.

Cavaliers vs. Nuggets Betting Pick

The Nuggets have an excellent team and should be doing much better this season. The same cannot be said of Cleveland as they look like a divided team right now, with players wanting out, etc. I was tempted to take the Nuggets to cover the handicap, but given their poor form recently, this could be a risky play. Therefore, I will anticipate with both teams low on confidence that this will be a low scoring, cagey game. Their recent games have gone under the points total, and they have a combined average of 217 points in their last ten meetings.

Pick
  • Under 223 Points
    -110

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