Cavaliers vs. Bucks – NBA Pick for October 20th

by Kevin Roberts
on October 20, 2017

We got on the winning path on Thursday night, as the Los Angeles Clippers left no doubt in an easy blowout win over the hated Los Angeles Lakers.

Lonzo Ball didn’t look good and the rest of the Lakers followed suit. Blake Griffin was a total monster, while the post-Chris Paul Clips actually looked highly versatile.

Friday brings a full 10-game slate to the table, so NBA bettors should be extra busy. There are also a handful of enticing NBA betting opportunities. The first one that pops off the board is a fun battle between the Cavs and Bucks in Milwaukee.

Cleveland enters as the road favorites at -135 at Bovada and few can argue against that. LeBron James (ankle) is mildly questionable to suit up for this one, but just like the Cavs’ home opener, he’s fully expected to play.

With James on the court, the Cavs are the obvious favorites, but it’s interesting to see such a tight line. Should we read into what Vegas is selling here, or take the free money with Cleveland’s sweet line?

Cleveland Cavaliers (-135)
Milwaukee Bucks (+115)
Total: 209

I love the value we get with the Cavs, but there is mild cause for pause here. Milwaukee is at home (23-18 there last year) and looked quite good in a win over the Celtics on Wednesday.

In addition, the Cavs were just 20-21 on the road a year ago, while this series has actually been fairly intense. The Bucks stole one win last year and even forced another game into overtime.

Cleveland is otherwise in a solid spot here. They went 3-1 against Milwaukee last year and have won 6 of the last 8 meetings. The Bucks have the length and athleticism to match up well with them and give them a fight, but the Cavs are the logical favorite.

The Cavaliers work well in the face of expectations, too. They were a solid 19-15-1 against the spread as road favorites a year ago, while they went 39-37-4 overall as the favorite.

The spread is out for us in this one, though. The Bucks have a weak +2 line and that gives us zero wiggle room. This should be a close game, but we can’t lay much money down with expectations of a one or two-point win for the Cavs. Milwaukee isn’t offering enough upside at +115 as the pick to win, either.

This matchup in general favors the Cavaliers. Giannis Antetokounmpo is a beast, but the Cavs d have two strong perimeter defenders in LeBron James and Jae Crowder. If they can work together to keep The Greek Freak from freely working inside the paint, his jumper will be forced into action.

That’s a situation that benefits the Cavs, while Cleveland has the superior offense and defense, by the numbers. Cleveland produced the third most efficient offense in the league last year and join the Bucks as a top-10 defense so far after one game this season.

The Bucks are getting better and they’ll give the Cavs a game, but if we’re betting on one of these teams going 2-0, it’s going to be Cleveland. The Cavs have work to do to improve, themselves, and part of that is getting Kevin Love going as the center and also making sure Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade are comfortable.

Those issues could cause a few hiccups, but I doubt it leads to a loss in this setting. Ultimately, the value with the Cavs is just too alluring.

Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers to Win (-135)
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