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Cleveland Cavaliers at Brooklyn Nets Betting Preview

The NBA playoffs kick off on Tuesday with the first two play-in games. The first game features an Eastern Conference matchup between the No. 8 Cleveland Cavaliers (44-38) and the No. 7 Brooklyn Nets (44-38). The Nets will host this one at the Barclays Center, with tipoff scheduled for 7:00 pm ET.

The winner of this game will square off with the No. 2 seeded Boston Celtics starting next week. Whoever loses this game will take on the winner of the No. 9 Atlanta Hawks and No. 10 Charlotte Hornets, with the winner getting the top-seeded Miami Heat.

These two are very familiar with each other as they squared off four times this regular season. The Nets won three of the four matchups, including a 118-107 victory on Friday.

In the win, Kevin Durant had a game-high 36 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists. Bruce Brown and Kyrie Irving added 18 apiece.

Darius Garland had 31 points for the Cavaliers in their defeat. Lauri Markkanen and Evan Mobley added 17 apiece, while Caris LeVert had 16.

The Brooklyn Nets are the overwhelming favorites in this one. They are -405 to win while the Cavaliers’ moneyline sits at +320. The spread features Cleveland +8.5 (-110), and the over/under for total points is 228.5.

By The Numbers

Throughout the regular season, the Nets have had the stronger of the two offenses. They rank ninth in the NBA, averaging 112.9 points. The Cavaliers rank 25th averaging 107.8 points.

Defensively, Cleveland holds the advantage. They rank fifth in scoring defense, allowing opponents an average of just 105.7 points per game. Brooklyn ranks 18th as they are allowing opponents 112.1 points.

Can Cavaliers Find An Answer For Durant?

On Friday, the Cavaliers entered the fourth quarter with a 88-83 lead over the Cavaliers, but a 35-19 fourth quarter by the Nets ultimately did them in. While they did a decent job against Kyrie Irving, they will have to find an answer for Durant.

A return of Jarrett Allen, who has been out with a finger injury, would be huge on defense, but it seems this is less than certain.’s Chris Fedor reported that the Cavaliers are pessimistic about his availability.

Darius Garland has led the way for the Cavaliers’ offense this season. In 68 games, he is averaging 21.7 points to go along with 3.3 rebounds, 8.6 assists, and 1.3 steals.

Rookie Evan Mobley has also been a ton for Cleveland this year. In 69 games, he is averaging 15 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.7 blocks.

Brooklyn Trying To Live Up To The Hype

Despite playing in the play-in tournament, the Brooklyn Nets are one of the favorites to come out of the East. In fact, they have the second-best odds of winning the conference (+390) and third-best odds of winning the NBA Finals (+650).

Leading the Nets’ offensive attack is future Hall-of-Famer Kevin Durant. The power forward is averaging 29.9 points per game this season, to go along with 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists.

The Nets get a huge boost by New York relaxing their COVID-19 vaccination requirements. As a result, Kyrie Irving, who is averaging 27.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.8 assists in 29 games, should be good to go Tuesday night.

Take Brooklyn To Win And Cover

In a star-driven league, the playoffs are where NBA superstars tend to shine. It is for this reason that the Nets, despite a subpar regular season, continue to be considered one of the favorites.

The Cavaliers’ chances if Jarrett Allen is indeed unable to play will dramatically decrease, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Nets turn it on at home and run away with this game.

It will come down to Allen’s availability and the Cavaliers’ ability to minimize the damage of Kevin Durant. They have struggled to do that to this point, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them continue to struggle in this game.

Take Brooklyn to both win and to cover the lofty 8.5-point spread.

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