With All-Star Weekend in the rearview mirror, teams around the NBA have less than two months to kick things into high gear and get ready for the Playoffs. Fresh off his All-Star MVP awards, LeBron James will look to continue the momentum the Cleveland Cavaliers have had since the mid-season blockbuster trade that shook things up; the Wizards, on the other hand, will look to continue the momentum they had prior to the break, hoping to build on the streak that had them winning seven of their last nine.
The Cavs are 5.5-point favorites.
Key Betting Trend(s)
- The Wizards are 1-5 against the spread (ATS) and straight up (SU) in their last 6 games vs the Cavaliers.
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of the Wizards’ last 5 games
- Cavs to win in regular time: 1.54
- Draw: 12.06
- Wizards to win in regular time: 2.73
- Cavs: 1.55
- Wizards: 2.71
What to Watch For
Clarkson’s Production: Prior to the All-Star break, Clarkson scored 17 points (7-11 FG, 3-4 3pt) with three rebounds, two steals and one assist in 23 minutes of action in a 121-99 win over the Celtics. Clarkson is expected to see about 20-to-25 minutes of action a night, available to play the 1 and the 2. Depending on how George Hill continues to produce, we could see more or less of Clarkson.
Jordan Clarkson is projected to finish Thursday’s game with 13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. He’s projected to be No. 2 in scoring behind LeBron James’ 30 projected points, and just a shade above Rodney Hood who is projected to finish with 12-to-13 points.
Otto Porter Jr.: With John Wall (knee) out, Otto Porter has really increased his production, finishing with 22 points against the Knicks prior to the break in a 118-113 road win. With Wall out, Porter is averaging 18.2 points (53.0% FGs, 88.2% FTs), 1.2 triples, 6.2 boards, 3.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.2 blocks.
Porter is projected to finish with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal in Thursday’s game.
Betting on the Total: The total has gone OVER in five of the Wizards’ last seven games on the road.
Head-to-Head: Head to head, the road team between these two sides is actually 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings.
Cavs cover and win.
In general, the Wizards are 5-2 ATS in their last seven matchups in Cleveland, and it’s tough to imagine James and the Cavs not treating this game — the first game after All-Star break on national television — as an opportunity to send a message to the Eastern Conference. On top of all that, the Cavs covering is a three-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend.