We’ve gotten to the point where Cleveland is a -9 point favorite heading into the December 15th Rockets at Cavaliers betting matchup. Make no mistake J.B. Bickerstaff has his team playing well with four straight wins and victories in eight of their last ten; but -9 point favorites?
Houston has won 8 of their last 10 games as well, but the reason they are expected to get blown out on Wednesday night is because this team is decimated with injuries right now. That didn’t stop the Rockets from pulling out a 132-126 win over Atlanta on Monday night though, and that was as +10.5 underdogs. Over 70% of public bettors still like the red hot Cavaliers though.
Who Goes for Houston?
The Rockets just put together a very surprising 7-game win streak which included takedowns of the Bulls and Nets, but a lot of other weak opponents (Charlotte, OKC, OKC, Orlando, New Orleans). Regardless of the quality of opposition, the victories have given Houston a spark as evidenced by their ability to bounce back from a two game losing streak (Milwaukee, at Memphis) to squeeze out a win over the Hawks on Monday.
What was even more impressive about Houston’s 132-126 win over Atlanta was that the Rockets were without Kevin Porter, Jr. (thigh), Danuel House (ankle), and Jalen Green (hamstring). Eric Gordon had 32 vs. the Hawks but he’s out in the December 15th Rockets at Cavaliers matchup with a groin injury. Christian Wood had just 12 points and 5 rebounds vs. Atlanta, but he had 20+ point double-doubles in three of five prior. Wood (knee) is questionable vs. Cleveland.
Do the Rockets have enough to compete on Wednesday night if Wood cannot go? Armoni Brooks has scored in double figures in three of the last four and Garrison Mathews has been a revelation with double figures in 9 of the last 10, but Cleveland has great depth that can run away with this one.
Cavs Have Won in Impressive Fashion
Cleveland has rattled off victories in 8 of their last 10 to pull them into a surprising 4th spot in the Eastern Conference. They are on a current four game win streak as well, each of the wins by double figures including Monday’s 105-94 victory over the Heat, who albeit were a bit shorthanded without Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
Can Cleveland run away with this one by the -9 points? Houston beat Atlanta in their last game, but they also played bad enough to get down by 19 points at one time. The Rockets are also without the 32 points from Eric Gordon on Monday (groin), and maybe also without their most intimidating interior presence if Wood can’t go.
The Cavs meanwhile are stacked, deep, and relatively healthy with Collin Sexton, who is out for the season, being the only person on the injury report. The only starter that didn’t score at least a dozen points vs. the Heat was Evan Mobley, who had 15 points and 15 rebounds the game prior in a win over Sacramento. Kevin Love had 23 points vs. Miami, and the ability to bring him and Ricky Rubio off the bench is going to be the difference against a depleted Houston team.
December 15th Rockets at Cavaliers Pick
9 points is a lot, but Cleveland is just that good right now. They’ve won all four on this current win streak by double figures and it shouldn’t be hard to continue that trend against a depleted Houston squad.
Cavaliers 123 – Rockets 106
Free Pick: Cavaliers -9