Cavaliers vs. Raptors NBA expert prediction and odds for Monday, Jan. 1 (Cavs can cover)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the New Year's Day matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) brings the ball.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) brings the ball. / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers have a road date on New Year’s Day against the new-look Toronto Raptors, who will have RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley making their debuts with the team on Monday. 

Toronto is just 12-20 this season – and is coming off a loss to the Detroit Pistons – but oddsmakers have favored the Raptors in this game against Cleveland. 

Is that disrespectful to Donovan Mitchell and company? With Evan Mobley and Darius Garland still out, the Cavs could be undervalued in the betting market even though they’ve won five of their last 10 to stay in the No. 6 seed in the East. 

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Here’s a look at the latest betting odds – and my best bet – for this New Year’s Day clash: 

Cavaliers vs. Raptors odds, spread and total

Cavaliers vs. Raptors how to watch

  • Date: Monday, Jan. 1
  • Game Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Scotiabank Arena
  • How to Watch (TV): Bally Sports Ohio, Sportsnet CA
  • Cavs Record: 18-14
  • Raptors Record: 12-20

Cavaliers vs. Raptors injury reports

Cleveland Cavaliers injury report

  • Emoni Bates – out
  • Ricky Rubio – out
  • Darius Garland – out
  • Ty Jerome – out
  • Evan Mobley – out
  • Isaiah Mobley – out

Toronto Raptors injury report

  • Christian Koloko – out
  • Garrett Temple – doubtful

Cavaliers vs. Raptors key players to watch

Cleveland Cavaliers

Donovan Mitchell: As most of the Cavs’ games have been without Mobley and Garland, this game is all about Mitchell. The All-NBA guard is going to need to make things happen on offense, and he won’t have to deal with OG Anunoby, who was traded to New York. 

I think Mitchell could be in line for a big game against a Toronto team that is just 15th in defensive rating this season. 

Toronto Raptors

Scottie Barnes: This is officially Scottie Barnes’ team, especially if the Raptors part ways with Pascal Siakam. He’s averaging 21.0 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game while shooting a career-high 39.0 percent from 3 this season. 

Immanuel Quickley: Does Quickley get the starting nod in his first game in Toronto? It’s possible, and he’s played well this season for New York – averaging 15.0 points per game in a bench role. Quickley could make a major leap with the Raptors. 

Cavaliers vs. Raptors prediction and pick

Toronto may be favored, but I’m not buying it. 

The Raptors looked awful in a loss to the Pistons on Saturday night, and the team is just 5-6 against the spread as a home favorite this season. 

Meanwhile, the Cavs have been sneaky solid on the road in the 2023-24 campaign. 

The team is an impressive 6-3 ATS as a road underdog, and the Cavs have a better record on the road (9-6) than they do at home (9-8). 

I can’t get behind this Raptors team – especially with so many new pieces in the rotation – against a Cleveland team that ranks top 10 in the league in defensive rating. Toronto has struggled to score the ball, ranking 23rd in true shooting percentage and 17th in offensive rating this season. 

Give me the Cavs to at least cover in this one.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.

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