Cleveland at Denver Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

Cleveland at Denver NBA Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

Written by on March 21, 2017

The Cleveland Cavaliers continue a road trip through the Western Conference on Wednesday night when they visit a Denver Nuggets team that needs a victory much more urgently. The Nuggets are battling a few teams for the final playoff spot in the West but will be NBA lines underdogs here.

Cleveland at Denver NBA Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

When: Wednesday, March 22, 9 PM ET Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, CO. TV: NBA League Pass Stream: Radio: Cleveland NBA Odds: Cavaliers favored by TBA

Why Bet on Cleveland?

The Cavs sat out stars LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love on Saturday – to the anger of the NBA league office – and were predictably routed by the Clippers. The Big 3 were back in the lineup Sunday and Cleveland rallied for a 125-120 victory over the terrible Lakers. Irving scored 46 points, James added 34 and the Cavaliers had to rally from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Love had 21 points and 15 rebounds as the Cavaliers survived a surprising challenge from a 20-win opponent to clinch a playoff spot. James, Irving and Kevin Love combined for 101 points, the most they’ve ever scored in a game for the Cavaliers. Irving has scored 20 points or more in a career-high 18 straight games (the longest active streak in the NBA) averaging 27.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 35.4 minutes over that stretch. Irving’s 18 straight 20-point games started on Feb. 6 and his 27.5 PPG is tops in the Eastern Conference since then. The only other player in Cavaliers history with 20 or more points in 17 straight games within one season is James, who had several streaks like that including a franchise-record 49 straight games with at least 20 points in 2007-08. Kyle Korver missed his seventh straight game Sunday with a sore foot. Coach Tyronn Lue isn’t certain whether Korver will return on this road trip, but reiterated that he’ll probably wait to return J.R. Smith to the starting lineup until Korver is healthy because he wants a shooter available as a reserve. Tristan Thompson (mouth) is not expected to miss any game action. Thompson took a shot to the mouth during Sunday’s game vs. the Lakers and was unable to return. “If I didn’t have a good mouth guard, I’d have a tough time having a good dinner tonight, so God bless my mouth guard,” he said. Thompson’s two front teeth were knocked loose, but he’s not in a lot of pain and will simply have to wear braces for a couple weeks. He has played in more consecutive games than anyone in the NBA at 439. A.C. Green, who set the league’s all-time ironman mark with 1,192 consecutive games played, also played through losing two teeth from an elbow from J.R. Reid during the 1995-96 season when he played for the Phoenix Suns.

Why Bet on Denver?

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic had 17 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists last week vs. the Clippers, moving him into fourth place for most triple-doubles this season with five. He also became the first Nugget with five triple-doubles in a single season since Fat Lever in 1989-90 and the first NBA center with five triple-doubles in a season since David Robinson in 1993-94. Jokic is just the third Nugget in team history to post triple-doubles in consecutive games, joining Dikembe Mutombo (April 1994) and Lever (multiple occasions). Over the last 44 games, Jokic has posted 29 double-doubles (including 14 20/10 games and five triple-doubles) and is averaging 18.8 points, 10.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists on 60% shooting from the field, 39% from three and 83% from the charity stripe. Nuggets starting shooting guard Gary Harris was forced to miss 20 of the first 25 games of this season due to injury, but since his return he has provided the Nuggets with consistent scoring while also being one of the team’s best individual and help defenders. In 45 games this season (44 starts), Harris is averaging a career-high 14.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.29 steals while ranking 7th in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage (.422). He also leads all shooting guards in field goal percentage among players with at least 400 attempts at 49.0%. The Nuggets offense has been spectacular as of late, scoring 120+ in 13 of their last 32 games while shooting over 50% from the field in 14 of those games. They could be short-handed again here, though as Wilson Chandler (groin) and Danilo Gallinari (knee) both sat Monday vs. the Rockets. It was Chandler’s fourth game in a row out and Gallinari’s third. Both are hoping to return on Wednesday vs. the Cavaliers. Denver has dropped three straight vs. Cleveland. It was 125-109 on Feb. 11. James and Irving had 27 points each. Jokic had 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Nuggets, who played their third game in four nights and were clearly gassed.

Cleveland at Denver Expert Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers

Denver’s a tough to play if you have little rest, but the Cavs should be fine being off since Sunday.