Philadelphia 76ers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Predictions, Starting Lineups (2/12/24)

The injured Philadelphia 76ers (31-21) face the surging Cleveland Cavaliers (35-16) this Monday (2/12/24). Get 76ers vs. Cavaliers moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction

For clarity, the Cavaliers do not need to win every single quarter individually, but rather they must be up on the scoreboard when every quarter ends.

Philadelphia is a mess at the moment due to injuries, which include Joel Embiid, De’Anthony Melton, Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington, and potentially a questionable Tobias Harris. Therefore, the short-handed 76ers are heavily relying on Tyrese Maxey, Buddy Hield, and Kelly Oubre to carry the offensive load via self-creating scoring and playmaking.

That trio thrives from deep, but Cleveland allows the third fewest above the break three-point attempts and fifth fewest wide open three-point attempts (via NBA.com). Their ability to chase shooters off the line and funnel them into the paint will be crucial here. The Cavaliers also surrender the second lowest paint field goal percentage due to Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, so attacking the rim isn’t a path to success either. Philadelphia will be able to exploit the midrange, but Maxey’s in-between game is extremely undeveloped (he shoots 28 percent from the midrange).

Essentially, look for Cleveland (2nd in Defensive Rating) to neutralize Philadelphia’s strengths and force them into poor shot quality all night.

On the other end, Philadelphia completely lacks point-of-attack defenders with Melton hurt and Beverley traded. Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell are subsequently set for monster nights, as Maxey and Hield both sit well below average in terms of perimeter defense. Meanwhile, Paul Reed is capable in spurts, but Philadelphia’s lackluster rim protection is a massive concern too.

Overall, the 76ers rank 29th in Defensive Rating since Embiid’s injury, and their offense will likely be mighty sluggish against Cleveland’s elite defense. Look for the Cavs – who have won 17 of their past 18 games – to control this game from beginning to end.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction: Cavaliers Winning At End Of Every Quarter (-116 FD)

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Philadelphia 76ers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Best Odds

The Cavaliers are massive 10.5 point favorites, which is logical given the 76ers’ key injuries. Cleveland is 19-12-2 against the spread as favorites, while Philadelphia owns a 6-9 record against the spread as underdogs.

For Philadelphia’s +430 moneyline to be profitable in the long run, they need to win here at least 19 percent of the time.

Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup

PG: Tyrese Maxey
SG: Buddy Hield
SF: Kelly Oubre Jr
PF: Tobias Harris
C: Paul Reed

Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup

PG: Darius Garland
SG: Donovan Mitchell
SF: Max Strus
PF: Evan Mobley
C: Jarrett Allen

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Injuries

Philadelphia will be without Joel Embiid, De’Anthony Melton, Nicolas Batum, and Robert Covington. Additionally, Tobias Harris and Mo Bamba are questionable. On the other side, Cleveland lacks Tristan Thompson, Ty Jerome, and potentially Dean Wade.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Key Matchups

Tobias Harris’ Health

Of the 86 players with at least 140 pull-up field goal attempts, he ranks 27th in pull-up effective field goal percentage. Harris is also a quality three-point shooter and averages 3.4 assists per game too. Philadelphia needs every offensive advantage possible in order to crack Cleveland’s defense, so it’s essential that Harris suits up and displays his all-around offensive game.

Free Throws

Since Embiid’s injury, the 76ers are 27th in opponent free throw attempt rate. Cleveland shoots 77.1 percent from the charity stripe, so a shooting foul essentially adds 1.542 points to the scoreboard for the Cavs on average. That’s insanely efficient offense that Philadelphia cannot afford to give to Cleveland. If they continue to foul, then it will be a massive uphill climb for them.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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