The Nets’ new offense-by-committee found its lead scorer in Mikal Bridges pretty quickly, and Spencer Dinwiddie is carving out a playmaking role too. See why our NBA picks like him to continue dishing against the Cavaliers.
The Brooklyn Nets have revenge on their minds as they host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night. This is a rematch from Tuesday when the Cavs entered Barclays Center and left with a 6-point victory.
Oddsmakers expect the visitors to come out on top again with NBA betting odds opening with the Cavs as 4-point road faves and the Over/Under at 219. Here are my best free Cavaliers vs. Nets NBA picks and predictions for March 23.
Cavaliers vs Nets best odds
Cavaliers vs Nets picks and predictions
When Spencer Dinwiddie was reacquired in the Kyrie Irving trade, we knew he wouldn’t be anywhere near as efficient or explosive as a scorer. However, he has surprisingly been a better facilitator.
Dinwiddie dropped 11 assists against the Cavaliers on Tuesday and has now racked up more than 10 assists in five of his last six contests.
Since the start of the month, Dinwiddie is seventh in the league in passes made and eighth in potential assists per game (16.1) which indicates that his production is sustainable long-term given the volume of his passing.
As terrific as the Cavs have been defensively this season, they’ve been more beatable on the road where they allow opponents to shoot 48% from the floor. Take the Over 8.5 on Dinwiddie’s assists.
My best bet: Spencer Dinwiddie Over 8.5 assists (-115)
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Cavaliers vs Nets spread analysis
The Cavaliers are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings with a 46-28 record and have won seven of their last nine games. In their last contest, they outscored the Nets by 23 points in the second and third quarters and held on for a 115-109 victory.
That was the fourth consecutive loss for Brooklyn (including three straight at home) who is now sixth in the East with a 39-33 mark. Since trading away Kevin Durant, the Nets have gone just 6-11 with a net rating of minus-4.9.
Mikal Bridges is putting up 25.4 points per game with his new team but Bridges and Dinwiddie are still a step down from Durant and Irving. Brooklyn is just 27th in the league in offensive rating since that trade while averaging 109.6 ppg on a league-worst 44.3 FG%.
The Nets need to embrace defense with their new-look lineup but have been merely average on that end of the floor. On the other hand, the Cavs have been the best defensive team in the league all season boasting the top defensive rating (109.7) while ranking ninth in opponent field goal percentage (46.8%) and fourth in opponent turnover rate (15.6%).
The Cavs have been efficient with the ball as well ranking ninth in the league in offensive rating (115.4) and fifth in field goal percentage (48.9%).
Cavaliers vs Nets Over/Under analysis
With their stingy defense and sluggish tempo (playing at the slowest pace in the NBA) the Cavs have allowed a league-low 106.6 ppg — more than three points fewer than second-place Miami.
With Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley protecting the rim, the Cavs are very tough to score on in the paint. While they are more vulnerable at the 3-point line, Brooklyn isn’t equipped to exploit that weakness.
The Nets are knocking down just 35.1% of their shots from beyond the arc since parting ways with Irving and Durant while they had a 39.2 3PT% before the trade deadline.
For their part, the Nets should be better defensively than they’ve played lately. Coach Jacque Vaughn emphasizes hard-nosed play on that end of the floor and center Nic Claxton, forward Dorian Finney-Smith, and Bridges are all excellent defenders.
Cavaliers vs Nets betting trend to know
Despite playing at an extremely slow pace and boasting the league’s top defense, the Over is 5-1 in the Cavaliers’ last six games. Find more NBA betting trends for Cavaliers vs. Nets.
Cavaliers vs Nets game info
|Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
|Thursday, March 23, 2023
|7:30 p.m. ET
|YES, Bally Sports Ohio