The NBA season is full of uncertainty, and there isn’t a single play-in matchup that demonstrates that more than this one between the Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Brooklyn was widely considered the favorite to win the NBA title this season. However, with Kyrie Irving ineligible to play for a large portion of the season, Kevin Durant missing nearly 30 games due to injury, and James Harden‘s trade to Philadelphia, the outlook has changed quite a bit.
On the other hand, Cleveland was projected to win fewer than 30 games this season. Instead, the Cavs sat near the top of the standings for much of the year and clinched their first winning record without LeBron James since the 1997-98 season.
Let’s look at how this NBA Play-In Tournament game is expected to play out.
Nets vs Cavaliers Odds
All NBA gameday odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook and current as of Monday, April 11, at 1 p.m. ET.
- Moneyline: Nets (-420), Cavaliers (+320)
- Spread: Nets -8.5 (-110), Cavaliers +8.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: Over 228.5 (-110), Under 228.5 (-110)
- Implied Score: Nets 118.5, Cavaliers 110
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Nets vs Cavaliers Prediction
The Nets won three of their four meetings with the Cavaliers this season, including a showdown this past week that played a significant role in determining seeding. Brooklyn won 118-107 in a game that I feel represents what we should expect from their play-in matchup.
Durant and Irving were unstoppable for Brooklyn, combining for 54 points and 13 assists. Andre Drummond and Bruce Brown also put in work on the glass, hauling in 22 total rebounds, which highlights a significant problem with this current Cavs team: the absence of Jarrett Allen.
- Get more betting tips on this NBA Play-In Game with our Nets vs Cavaliers prop bet sheet.
This season, Allen has been a dominant two-way force for Cleveland, averaging 16.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. He’s been sidelined since early March with a fractured finger, and will not return to face the Nets.
Nets vs Cavaliers Score Pick
Nets 115, Cavaliers 103
Without Allen defending the rim, the Nets will be able to take advantage of Cleveland’s weakened presence in the paint. Look for Brooklyn to attack the Cavs’ more inexperienced bigs inside and generate open looks along the perimeter in what should be a decisive win.
Nets vs Cavaliers Best Bets
Nets Cover -8.5 Spread (-110)
WAGER: 1 Unit
I’m not expecting a blowout, but I think the Nets can comfortably cover this 8.5-point spread. Brooklyn’s 11th-ranked offense has been more potent since the All-Star break, and Cleveland’s otherwise immaculate defense has taken a hit since Allen went down.
The Cavaliers will keep things interesting in the first half, but the Nets should pull away in the second and win this one by double digits.
Nets vs Cavaliers: UNDER 228.5 Points (-110)
WAGER: 1 Unit
Cleveland’s offense is better than advertised, but this is also a team that plays at the fifth-slowest pace in the NBA. That doesn’t bode well for the Over, even if they’re going up against one of the league’s more efficient offenses.
I don’t envision the Cavaliers being able to keep up with the Nets on offense, resulting in the Under hitting by a few points.
Nets vs Cavaliers Parlay
Best Same-Game Parlay (+370) at Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
- Nets Moneyline (-420)
- Bruce Brown Over 6.5 Rebounds (-105)
- Kyrie Irving Over 28.5 Points (-115)
I like Brooklyn to cover the spread in this game, but this is also a win-and-in situation for both teams. The Cavaliers will give it their all, and they have the potential to trade buckets with the Nets. So just to be safe, I’m rolling with the Nets moneyline in this parlay.
Additionally, I’m pairing this with Bruce Brown going Over on his rebounds prop and Kyrie Irving going Over on his points prop. Brown is averaging seven boards per game against the Cavs this season, and I expect Irving to be the one to put pressure on Cleveland in the paint.