The Cleveland Cavaliers (10-19) will look to bounce back against the Denver Nuggets (15-13) on Friday evening as the Cavs aim to stop an eight-game losing skid. Cleveland is 7-7 at home this season, with Denver also at 7-7 in their road games during the 2020-21 season. Kevin Love (calf), Larry Nance (hand), Andre Drummond (personal) and Taurean Prince (ankle) are out for the Cavaliers. Will Barton (personal) is listed as questionable for the Nuggets, with Paul Millsap (knee) and Gary Harris (adductor) ruled out.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The latest Nuggets vs. Cavaliers odds from William Hill Sportsbook list Denver as an 8.5-point favorite. The over-under for total points expected is set at 226, up 5.5 points from the opening line. Before finalizing any Cavaliers vs. Nuggets picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks last season. The model is also up more than $8,400 on top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. Dating back to last season, it enters Week 9 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 83-48 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Nuggets vs. Cavaliers spread: Nuggets -8.5
- Nuggets vs. Cavaliers over-under: 226 points
- Nuggets vs. Cavaliers money line: Nuggets -350; Cavaliers +290
- DEN: The Nuggets are 3-7 against the spread in the last 10 games
- CLE: The Cavaliers are 0-11 against the spread in the last 11 games
Why the Nuggets can cover
Denver is a tremendous offensive team, keyed by Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. The Nuggets are scoring more than 1.15 points per possession this season, ranking sixth in the NBA in scoring efficiency and sixth in the NBA in true shooting percentage. Denver protects the ball at a top-10 level, committing a turnover on only 13.8 percent of possessions, and the Nuggets also rank in the top ten in both assist rate (61.9 percent) and offensive rebound rate (29.1 percent).
Defensively, the Nuggets are effective at forcing a turnover on 14.9 percent of possessions, a top-10 figure, and Denver is above-average at securing the defensive glass. In addition, the Cavaliers are the NBA's worst offensive team by a substantial margin, scoring 103.9 points per 100 possessions, and Cleveland is a bottom-five squad in shooting efficiency and turnover rate.
Why the Cavaliers can cover
Cleveland's struggles are noteworthy, but the Cavs do have some edges against Denver. The Cavaliers are a top-five offensive rebounding team in the NBA, pulling down 29.4 percent of their own missed shots this season. Denver is also below-average defensively, yielding more than 1.11 points per possession, and the Nuggets are a bottom-10 team in free throw rate on both ends of the floor.
Defensively, Cleveland is No. 3 in the league in turnover creation, forcing a turnover on 15.7 percent of possessions, and the Cavs are No. 5 in steals, generating 8.5 per game. The Cavs are also above-average in preventing free throw attempts for the opposition, and Cleveland is 7th-best in the league in preventing second-chance points, giving up only 12.1 per game.
How to make Cavaliers vs. Nuggets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting both teams combine for 222 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 70 percent of simulations. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Cavaliers vs. Nuggets? And which side of the spread hits almost 70 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.