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Suns vs Cavaliers Betting Odds - James, Cavs win shootout with tired Suns

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/5/2014 1:54:42 AM

NBA Odds: Pick Cavaliers

Online betting players are waiting to see how far Phoenix can go with their run-and-gun offense, but for now, it’s gotten them off to a hot start in the NBA. The Suns will wrap up a Eastern swing with a visit to Cleveland, where the Cavaliers have found their form after a shaky start. Offense is fun to watch, but Cleveland knows it's defense that wins championships.

WHAT: NBA betting
WHEN: Wednesday, December 2, 7:00 PM ET
WHERE: QuickenLoans Arena, Cleveland, OH
KEY STAT: Cleveland is 9-0 when they score at least 100 points

Suns vs Cavaliers betting odds maker breakdown: THE STORYLINE
Ahead of Tuesday’s game in New York, the Suns (14-3) led the Pacific Division by a game using their brand of “seven seconds or less” offense. The Cavaliers (12-5) are atop of the Central, and they swept both meetings with the Suns last year, even keeping them under 100 points in Cleveland last year. Also, this will be Shaquille O’Neal’s first meeting with the Suns since leaving them for Cleveland in the offseason.

Suns vs Cavaliers betting odds maker breakdown: STARTING FIVE
Steve Nash leads the league in assists, setting up the likes of Amare Stoudemire, Grant Hill, Jason Richardson and even Channing Frye, a Phoenix native has fit into the system after coming over from Portland. All five average at least 12.2 points, but Stoudemire and Frye have to hit the boards harder. It’s never a good look when 37-year-old Hill, who’s had countless ankle surgeries, is your leading rebounder.

O’Neal made his return to the lineup in Sunday’s win over Dallas after missing six games with an ailing shoulder, and his ability to hit cutters with a pass is another dimension for the Cavaliers. Mo Williams is coming on, while J.J. Hickson is technically the starter, until Mike Brown brings Anderson Varejao off the pine. Anthony Parker brings outside shooting, defense and experience to the table, and of course, there’s that LeBron James guy you may have heard of.

Betting Edge: Draw

Suns vs Cavaliers betting odds maker breakdown: BENCH
Former Sixth Man of the Year Leandro Barbosa is still the Suns’ main scoring threat off the bench, while Jared Dudley has added some help for the Brazilian. After that it gets very young, led by 23-year-old Goran Dragic, who is being groomed as Nash’s heir.

Varejao is often the first player off the pine, while Zydrunas Ilgauskas spells O’Neal in an aging but effective platoon system. The Cavs can also bring “Boobie” Gibson, Jamario Moon and Delonte West into the game, and their depth is a major reason that they’re favorites in your online sportsbook to reach the NBA Finals.

Betting Edge: Cavaliers

Suns vs Cavaliers betting odds maker breakdown: OFFENSE
The Suns don’t even pretend to do anything else. They run, they shoot, and when you tire, they do it some more. Phoenix leads the league in points scored, they’re the only team to shoot higher than 50% from the field at 50.7%, while leading the NBA in three-point shooting at 44.5%. Strangely though, they’re 23rd in free-throw shooting.

The Cavs are 17th in points scored, powered by James’ versatility and Williams’ outside shooting. O’Neal is the only other player to average in double figures, but at least they’re efficient. Cleveland is seventh in the league in shooting, and they’re second to Phoenix in three-point shooting. But like the Suns, they’re awful at line, coming in 27th.

Betting Edge: Suns

Suns vs Cavaliers betting odds maker breakdown: DEFENSE
It all begins with the defensive deficiencies of Nash and Stoudemire, their most talented players that don’t appear to even be interested at that end of the floor. Their best defensive players are subs like Dudley, Barbosa and Louis Amundson, but they don’t score enough. Maybe the Suns need to ask if they can play with two separate teams at each end of the floor.

The Cavaliers are sixth in the league in points against, and their most talented player, James, gets the team to follow his example. James is the master of chasing opponents down the floor for a big block, while Parker is better at positional defense. The Cavs’ big men aren’t shotblockers, but they can alter and get rebounds.

Betting Edge: Cavaliers

Suns vs Cavaliers betting odds maker breakdown: BETTING PREDICTION
Cleveland should be favored at home, given their 6-2 record at “the Q”, and their 39-2 record there from last season. The Cavs will be rested as they’ve been off since a home game on Sunday, while this will be the end of a four-game Eastern road trip for the Suns. The key is always the same against Phoenix: how many points can you keep them to? No one has kept them under 100 yet this year, and that sounds like a challenge to Cleveland. On the other hand, the Cavs are 9-0 this year when they drop 100, and it’s not likely that Phoenix can shut them down, especially a night after running with the New York Knicks and their old coach, Mike D’Antoni.

CRAIG’S PICK: Cavaliers

Check out Craig Parsons in the Betting Edge at BetOnline for everything you need for sports betting on the hardwood. For more on the Suns vs Cavaliers matchup, please visit our stats section.



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