Phoenix Suns vs Cleveland Cavaliers: Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds (1/4/23)

If Devin Booker was back and healthy then we would be witnessing a matchup that is featuring two of the most lethal scorers since Kobe’s 81-point game. Donovan Mitchell is coming off a 71-point performance while Devin Booker infamously scored 70 a few years ago. Sadly, that is not the case this time around, but we still have a matchup between two of the best teams in the league. Can Cleveland continue to build their case as a real threat to win it all?

Phoenix Suns vs Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Odds

Oddsmakers think so as they opened the Cavs as a -4.5 favorite. Bettors are in agreement, especially with the absence of Devin Booker, taking the Cavs up to as high as -6 in some shops. This comes as no surprise as the Cavs are red hot and get the benefit of defending their home court while the Suns come in hobbled and playing as anemic as ever. It will be interesting to see how much of a factor fatigue plays in this one.

Speaking of fatigue, oddsmakers believe points will come at a premium as they opened the total at 221.5. Bettors are adamant in agreement, backing the under down to as low as 217.5 in some shops as of writing. The Suns offensive production has been falling off a cliff without their lethal scorer in Devin Booker while the Cavs are facing some injury uncertainty while coming off of a track meet of a game against the Bulls.

Phoenix Suns vs Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction

The Pick: Under 218

Even with the total ticking down a few points already, I still like this under for a much smaller investment. This game script has sloppiness written all over it with the Cavs coming off of an incredible game with their starters logging in heavy minutes. They now may be without Darius Garland who is currently Doubtful on the injury report. His presence would be sorely missed as he has blossomed into an all-around stud guard with his facilitation and scoring abilities.

Without him, the Cavs may lean too heavily on the sole production of Donovan Mitchell to once again show out after a dazzling performance. The Suns are well coached and excel on the defensive end and will be well equipped to focus on limiting his scoring production. With Mitchell being the focus and Garland potentially out, the Cavs scoring takes a dip as they go deeper into their rotation.

The Cavs defense will also take a potential mega boost in production should Evan Mobley be good to go. He has upgraded to Questionable and is trending upward to playing tonight. His lengthy and dominant shot blocking presence on the block can negate the Suns low post scoring that is captained by Deandre Ayton.

Betting Trends

  • Under is 5-1 in the Suns last six games following an ATS loss
  • Under is 5-2-1 in the Cavs last eight games against a team with a winning straight up record
  • Under is 9-3 in their last 12 meetings against each other in Cleveland

Key Matchups

Can the Cavs defense take advantage of the Suns offense without their leading scorer?

Suns secondary scoring vs Cavs defense

It’s no secret that the Suns offense has mightily struggled without their star player in Devin Booker. That much was apparent in their last game out in a low scoring affair against the Knicks.

They now go against the second-best defense in terms of Defensive Efficiency, as well as the potential return of interior presence Evan Mobley.

With Deandre Ayton’s scoring potential taking a dip, I fail to see where the Suns consistent scoring will come from. Chris Paul’s scoring has dipped to an all-time low and Mikal Bridges isn’t a reliable number one option.

Verdict

Even with the total going down a few points, I still like the under for a much smaller investment in a game that could get really sloppy for both units.

Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Landry Shamet
SF: Mikal Bridges
PF: Torrey Craig
C: Deandre Ayton

(Team Callout)

Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineups

PG: Raul Neto
SG: Donovan Mitchell
SF: Caris LeVert
PF: Evan Mobley
C: Jarrett Allen

(Team Callout)

Key Injuries

Phoenix Suns Injuries: Devin Booker (O)

Cleveland Cavaliers Injuries: Evan Mobley (Q), Darius Garland (D)

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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