Cleveland Cavaliers vs Houston Rockets Preview (1/26/23): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

After finally breaking a 13-game losing streak, the Houston Rockets look to build on their recent win against Minnesota when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Check out our in-depth analysis below, which features our betting picks and predictions and the current odds, as well as starting lineups and injury news.

Cleveland Cavaliers Vs. Houston Rockets Betting Odds

Houston is a seven-point home dog against the Cleveland Cavaliers in this non-conference bout. Cleveland should only be without Dylan Windler, while the Rockets will be without starting point guard Kevin Porter Jr. Jabari Smith Jr is listed as questionable ahead of this matchup.

Donovan Mitchell is listed as questionable, so keep an eye on that heading into the matchup.

Cleveland Cavaliers Vs. Houston Rockets Prediction

After an embarrassing 13-game losing streak, the Houston Rockets finally walked away with a win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

Houston has looked nothing short of pathetic recently, playing lackluster defense and failing to generate any real chemistry on the offensive end. In short, the Rockets have looked like an AAU team for most of the year.

However, they do have a few bright young players, including Alperen Sengun, who has been lighting up defenses over the past week.

In his past four games leading into their Wednesday night matchup, Sengun has posted over 24 points per game on 72% shooting from the field. That level of efficiency from any player will help a struggling offense a great deal.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers have their entire rotation healthy now that Donovan Mitchell has returned after a week off and Ricky Rubio is finally back.

Rubio’s presence and experience give Cleveland a deep enough backcourt to compete with any team in the NBA; it’s a huge advantage having him come off the bench with Caris LeVert.

Houston will be on the second night of a back-to-back, so the Rockets may be a bit tired; however, they have covered well at home this season and have played much better in their past two games. I like Cleveland to win, but Houston to keep it close in this one.

Betting Trends

  • Cleveland is 8-13-2 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Houston is 10-10-2 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 47-48 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

Our key matchup features one of the brightest young centers in the NBA, Alperen Sengun, and the toughest defensive frontcourt in the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Find out below which has the advantage in what should be an exciting battle!

Alperen Sengun vs. Cavaliers’ Frontcourt

While the calls for Alperen Sengun to become the next “Nikola Jokic” have been made, that will not be Sengun’s destiny. There will not be another Jokic, as he will probably go down as one of the greatest centers to ever play the game.

However, that does not mean that Sengun can’t reach superstar status!

Sengun’s play does resemble a young Jokic: he can pass, has ballerina-caliber footwork and amazing touch around the rim, and plays with an exceptional IQ.

It makes sense why those comparisons would be drawn, but Sengun is merely preparing to be the best version of Sengun that he can be, not Jokic.

Regardless, Alperen has been on a tear recently, posting averages of roughly 24 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, and two blocks in his past four games. During that stretch, Sengun shot a hyper-efficient 72% from the floor, which would make even Nikola Jokic smile.

Sengun has a tough matchup against the Cleveland frontcourt, which features two seven-footers, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Allen will likely be defending Sengun for most of the game. While Allen is certainly a tough matchup, Sengun is fresh off a 21-point night against Rudy Gobert on 8-for-12 shooting from the field.

He even left a few points on the table as he continues to struggle from the free-throw line. Long story short: he is not concerned about who will be defending him at this point. Advantage: Sengun.

Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup

PG: Darius Garland
SG: Donovan Mitchell
SF: Isaac Okoro
PF: Evan Mobley
C: Jarrett Allen

Houston Rockets Starting Lineups

PG: Jalen Green
SG: Eric Gordon
SF: Tari Eason
PF: Jabari Smith Jr
C: Alperen Sengun

Key Injuries

Cleveland Cavaliers Injuries: Dylan Windler (Out), Donovan Mitchell (Q)

Houston Rockets Injuries: Kevin Porter Jr (Out)

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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