Jazz vs. Cavs best bets: Cleveland should dominate struggling Jazz

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. Aaron Josefczyk-USA TODAY Sports
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers. Aaron Josefczyk-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cleveland Cavaliers are in a heated race atop the Eastern Conference and now welcome a frisky Jazz bunch.

Utah was on the wrong side of a blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks over the weekend while Cleveland beat a shorthanded Mavericks team and the Pacers. The Cavs have won four of five with their lone loss on the road in the final seconds. Can Cleveland’s elite defense hand a sliding Jazz team another road loss?

Here are the odds and our best bet:

Jazz vs. Cavaliers Odds, Spread and Total

Jazz vs. Cavaliers Prediction and Pick

The Jazz are coming back to Earth after a sweltering start to the season, 4-4 in December with a 0.0 net rating. The team has been pedestrian across the board and now faces one of the best defenses in the league in the Cavaliers.

Cleveland’s defense has held up month over month, third in defensive rating, allowing less than 106 points per 100 possessions, per NBA.com, which is better than their season long mark. With Donovan Mitchell set to face his former team, the narrative may be that he is going to be hunting for a big game, but his season long numbers indicate that his average is incredible.

Mitchell is averaging nearly 30 points per game with almost five assists to go with it as he leads a Cleveland team that is sixth in net rating in December while 6-3 during the month.

Some may see the records of the two teams and think that Utah is undervalued, but this is a team sliding down the standings and not as strong away from home; the Jazz are 6-10 straight up on the road this season. For what it’s worth Cleveland has been dominant at home as well, 14-2 straight up and 11-4-1 against the spread.