Cleveland Cavaliers vs Milwaukee Bucks Preview (11/16/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

A few metaphorical punches will be thrown in this showdown between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks, two of the best teams in the top-heavy Eastern Conference. Scroll below to see my analysis for this game, including my prediction and picks, starting lineups, injury report, and current odds from the sportsbooks.

Cleveland Cavaliers Vs. Milwaukee Bucks Betting Odds

Cleveland is a four-point road dog against Milwaukee, one of the two best teams in the NBA! The Cavs will be without All-Star Jarrett Allen, and Donovan Mitchell is a game-time decision, while Khris Middleton, Grayson Allen, and Joe Ingles won’t suit up for the Bucks. Pat Connaughton and Jrue Holiday will probably be game-time decisions, so keep an eye on the injury report!

Cleveland Cavaliers Vs. Milwaukee Bucks Prediction

Milwaukee has had a fiery start to the 2022-23 regular season, playing impeccable defense. As a matter of fact, the Bucks rank first in defensive rating (105.0), with the second-best team coming in 2.4 points higher (worse). The margin between the top two teams is borderline unprecedented.

Still, that does not mean everything has been perfect, especially on the offensive end of the floor. The Bucks have been struggling with Khris Middleton still sidelined a bit longer, and their injury woes have only progressed with Jrue Holiday missing three-straight games. If Holiday can give it a go, I really like the Bucks in this spot; he will provide Milwaukee with a capable defender on Darius Garland.

I don’t love the Cleveland Cavaliers without Jarrett Allen. Allen is fresh off an All-Star season and averages roughly 14 points and 12 rebounds so far this year. Between Mobley and Allen, the Cavs are one of the best rebounding teams in the NBA (second in total rebounding rate) and control the paint in almost every game.

Allen is the anchor for the Cavs, and his absence does complicate things, even if Mobley can slide to the five for them. To worsen matters, Donovan Mitchell may also be unavailable for the second-straight game. Mitchell has been an absolute menace this season, averaging roughly 32 points, six assists, and five rebounds on 51% from the floor and 43% from deep. “Spida” has helped the Cavs become the second-best three-point shooting team in the NBA just one season after they ranked 16th.

In the game that Mitchell missed, Darius Garland went nuclear, scoring 51 points on 10-for-15 from deep; he also dished out six assists and pulled down two boards. Garland is more than capable of getting hot, but it is unlikely that he will be able to duplicate that performance against the best defense in the NBA.

Even with this ludicrous outing, the Cavs still lost a home game to the dreadful Minnesota Timberwolves. I will be all over the Milwaukee Bucks as four-point favorites if Mitchell is out and Jrue Holiday plays. I will wait until then to pull the trigger.

Betting Trends

  • Cleveland is 4-4 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Milwaukee is 6-2 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 13-13 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

Darius Garland and Jrue Holiday will go toe-to-toe for the key matchup in the Cavs versus Bucks game. Garland’s last game resulted in a 51-point outburst on elite three-point shooting. See the complete analysis for this matchup below and which player has the advantage in this one!

Darius Garland vs. Jrue Holiday

In five games versus each other, Darius Garland has averaged roughly 15 points and seven assists while shooting 46% from the field and 37% from behind the arc. Garland has improved his scoring year over year in his NBA career, so these numbers are slightly deceiving. It’s better to pay attention to his shooting percentages than points per game average in this case.

Meanwhile, Jrue Holiday has posted 16.6 points, 7.2 assists, and 4.2 rebounds during that same span of games, which is respectable; however, he is not getting the best of Garland by any stretch of the imagination. Holiday is a terrific perimeter defender and has a slight advantage there, but both teams are in the top eight in the NBA in points allowed to opposing point guards. If Holiday plays, which isn’t a guarantee, he will likely not be quite 100%. If that’s the case, Garland has a slight advantage, especially after such a hot shooting night. Advantage: Garland.

Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup

PG: Darius Garland
SG: Caris LeVert
SF: Lamar Stevens
PF: Kevin Love
C: Evan Mobley

Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineups

PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Jevon Carter
SF: MarJon Beauchamp
PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
C: Brook Lopez

Key Injuries

Cleveland Cavaliers Injuries: Jarrett Allen (Out), Donovan Mitchell (Q), Dean Wade (D), Dylan Windler (Out), Ricky Rubio (Out)

Milwaukee Bucks Injuries: Khris Middleton (Out), Pat Connaughton (Q), A.J. Green (Out), Joe Ingles (Out), Jrue Holiday (Q), Grayson Allen (D), Wesley Matthews (Out)

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at, 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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