The Blazers and Cavaliers are featured tonight in an interconference battle between two second-place teams. Portland is 10-7 and one game behind the Utah Jazz in the Northwest division standings.
Since a recent three-game winning streak, Portland has lost four of their last five games, including the previous three contests. They were defeated by the Milwaukee Bucks in their last game on Sunday 119-111.
Cleveland recently went through a rough patch of five straight losses but has turned things around and is now seeking its fourth win in a row.
They’re now just 1.5 games behind the Central Division-leading Bucks with an 11-6 season record. They beat the Hawks 114-102 on Sunday and have now won seven of eight games on their home floor.
Portland is currently tied for second in the division with the Denver Nuggets but could fall into a tie for third with the surging Minnesota Timberwolves if they lose tonight.
They will have another challenge on the road tonight as they’ll have to play their third straight game without leading scorer Damian Lillard. He’ll be out for about two more weeks with a strained calf.
Lillard leads the team in scoring with 26.3 points per game and adds seven assists per contest. Anfernee Simons is second on the team with 22.9 points per game, and Jusuf Nurkic is Portland’s leading rebounder with 10.1 per game.
As a team, they are surrendering 108.9 points per game, which is the seventh-best in the league.
The Cavaliers were off to a hot start this season, winning eight of their first nine games before losing five straight. They’ve recovered to win their last three games and are just two games behind the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference standings.
They are second in the league in three-point percentage at 36.9% and are eighth in the league in scoring, with 115.6 points per game. A victory tonight would improve them to 8-1 at home.
Donovan Mitchell is leading Cleveland in scoring and is seventh in the league with 29.8 points per game. He also leads the team in assists with six per game and averages 1.5 steals. Jarrett Allen is the top rebounder for the Cavs with 11.1 per game, and Evan Mobley leads them in blocks with 1.4.
Portland is 12-5 against the spread in its last 17 games, and the total has hit over in ten of its previous 13 games on the road in Cleveland.
The Cavs are 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games against the Western Conference, and the total has gone under in four of their previous six games.
Cleveland is the better team in this matchup, and the Blazers will continue struggling to score points without Lillard in the lineup.
The Cavs are near the top of the league in points per game and three-point shooting and should be able to pull away for an easy victory on their home floor.
Godds Pick/Prediction: The Cavaliers win, and the total goes over.