The Cleveland Cavaliers head to Los Angeles to face off against the Lakers on Monday night. Cleveland is coming off two straight wins and looking to pull off a major upset. After a big win against the Nuggets on Saturday, the Cavaliers will hope to continue their success against the Lakers.
The Lakers come into this game as heavy favorites for obvious reasons, having to cover a 13.5-point spread at home in Los Angeles. The Lakers will look to capture their ninth straight win.
With the Lakers -13.5 and the over/under at 217, this might sound like a difficult game to pick. Looking at both teams, let’s decide who we should choose in this one.
Trying To Squeak Out A Win
The Cavaliers are trying to do the impossible by stunning the best team in the Western Conference on the road. Needless to say, it won’t be easy, but they are heading into Los Angeles on a high note. After winning two straight games on the road, first beating the Pistons in overtime, then stunning the Nuggets, the Cavaliers will look to shock Los Angeles.
The Cavaliers’ recent success has come by way of Collin Sexton and Kevin Love. Against Denver, Love put up 19 points and 15 rebounds, while Sexton put up 25 points. If the Cavaliers want any chance at stalling out the Lakers, both Love and Sexton will need to create offensive opportunities to score points.
The Cavaliers have been good against the spread when on the road, going 4-1 in their last five games away from home. Overall, however, the spread hasn’t been kind to the Cavaliers, who have an overall record of 17-20-2. Take into consideration that the Cavaliers’ record against the spread in their last six games against the Lakers is 2-4.
Injury-riddled Lakers Look To Push Through
The Lakers are easily one of the league’s hottest teams, winning eight straight games and looking to make it nine. Even with LeBron James and Anthony Davis out, Rajon Rondo and Kyle Kuzma stepped up to lead the team past the Oklahoma City Thunder 125-110 on Saturday.
Kuzma might have to do it all over again, considering that Davis and James still remain questionable for Monday’s game. More unfortunate news is that the Lakers have more than just James and Davis on the injury report, with Rondo and Danny Green joining the list. With so many players on the injury report, it becomes difficult to evaluate the efficiency of the Lakers offense.
The Lakers have been mediocre against the spread so far this season, with an overall record of 21-17-1, though they have covered the spread in their last three games. Just a strange trend to keep in mind is that the Lakers are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games played on a Monday.
Pick and Prediction
The Lakers are coming into this game with a large list of injuries, hindering their opportunities at creating offense. Even if Rondo is cleared to play, I doubt the Lakers organization will risk anyone furthering their injury in this one. Although Kuzma has come into his own recently, the Lakers could still be missing most of their scorers on Monday.
The Cavaliers have been heating up lately, winning their last two games on the road. Sexton and Love have been able to carry Cleveland through two rough road victories, and, with the Lakers down so many players, they have a chance to capture a third. With Dante Exum more than likely returning, the Cavaliers will be more or less at full strength for this one.
The Cavaliers are 3-0 against the spread in their last three games, with injuries on the Lakers side, I’ll take the underdog Cavaliers +13.5 as well as the under.