NBA Basketball Betting - New Orleans Hornets at Cleveland Cavaliers (Friday 8:00 ET)
Cleveland is currently a 3-point home favorite with a game total of 184.5 at Sportsbook.com.
The Cavaliers lost in overtime to Chicago last night and will be short-handed for tonight's important contest.
Starting guard Delonte West broke his right wrist in a violent collision with Chicago's Derrick Rose and will be out an undetermined amount of time.
The Cavs were already without center Zydrunas Ilgauskas (broken ankle) and Ben Wallace did not play last night due to an intestinal flu.
LeBron James is fighting a cold and had likely his worst game of the season last night shooting 8 of 28 and committing eight turnovers.
All of these elements are coming together at the wrong time for Cleveland. The Cavs (30-7, 26-11 ATS) have taken full advantage of a soft schedule in the first half of the season, but unlike the Cleveland weather, things are about to heat up for them.
After tonight's matchup with the talented Hornets, they embark on a four-game West swing, playing in unfriendly outposts like Portland, Utah and Los Angeles (Lakers). Before Ground Hogs Day, LeBron and whoever else is standing also play in Orlando and Detroit. Yikes!
But as all good coaches tell their players, "Focus on tonight", which is what Cleveland has to do. One edge they have is Quicken Loans Arena, where coach Mike Brown's team has yet to taste defeat with a 19-0 record. Not many squeakers either for the Cavs who are 15-4 ATS at home, winning by a gargantuan 16.5 points per game.
The Cavs could use the quickness of West to help slow down Chris Paul, who nearly had a quadruple-double against Dallas in a victory two days ago.
New Orleans (23-12, 16-18-1 ATS) has alternated wins and losses in their last six contests and is 11-7 (8-9 ATS) on the road.
The problem here for the Hornets is playing quality competition on the road, as they are only 5-12-1 ATS if their opponent has a winning home record.
New Orleans is 17-5 UNDER in a road game where the Total is between 180 and 189.5 points and Cleveland is 16-3 UNDER off a loss against a division rival.
Pick: Under 184.5
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