Portland Trail Blazers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Predictions, Starting Lineups (11/30/23)

The Portland Trail Blazers (5-12) face the Cleveland Cavaliers (10-8) this Thursday (11/30/23). Get Blazers vs. Cavaliers moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction

Although Cleveland is assuredly the superior team and mighty likely to win, awarding Portland 12.5 points is a bridge too far. The Blazers are quietly playing quality basketball at the moment; over their past four games, they have been outscored by less than one point per 100 possessions.

With veteran Malcolm Brogdon at the helm, Portland’s offense has a cautious, productive distributor that can thrive off-ball. He’s forming an intriguing partnership with Deandre Ayton, who is averaging 14 points on a 61 FG% over his last ten games. Ayton faces a Cleveland defense that has given up the eighth most points per game to centers, ranks 22nd in opponent offensive rebound rate, and sits dead last defending post ups (per ShotQuality). Therefore, the off-season acquisition can provide extra possessions via the glass, score out of the pick-and-roll, and find success on post ups here.

Meanwhile, Jerami Grant is on a tear. Across 13 November games, he’s averaging 25.5 points on elite 47/48/80 shooting splits. His ability to create offense will be crucial here, especially against a typically stingy Cleveland defense. With Brogdon, Grant, and Ayton on the court, Portland owns three legitimate sources of offense that can help keep this contest relatively close. Factor in X Factor Shaedon Sharpe, who can drop 25 points at a moment’s notice, and Portland’s offense can exceed expectations in this matchup.

Defensively, Ayton has his lapses, but he’s been a plus rim protector this season. He can neutralize Allen’s output and occasionally block a shot from the weak side. Portland can throw All-Defensive caliber wing Matisse Thybulle at Donovan Mitchell too, while Brogdon is a capable Garland defender. Overall, Cleveland is a pick-and-roll heavy offense, and Portland ranks fifth defending pick-and-roll ball screens (per ShotQuality). They possess the tools to somewhat limit Cleveland and keep this matchup within striking distance.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction: Blazers +12.5 

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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Best Odds

The Cavaliers are massive 12.5 point favorites here. Portland needs to win this game roughly 16.7 percent of the time for their +500 moneyline to be profitable in the long run. Otherwise, the bet holds a negative expected value.

Portland Trail Blazers Starting Lineup

PG: Malcolm Brogdon
SG: Shaedon Sharpe
SF: Toumani Camara
PF: Jerami Grant
C: Deandre Ayton

Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup

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

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Injuries

Anfernee Simons, Robert Williams III, and Ishmail Wainright remain out for the Blazers. Ty Jerome, Ricky Rubio, and Dean Wade hold the same designation for Cleveland.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Key Matchups

Scoot Henderson

The third overall pick struggled to start the season, but he’s been solid since returning from injury. He’s posted 13 points in each of the last two games while leading the bench unit as their primary point guard. If Henderson can continue to knock down shots and limit the damage that Cleveland’s bench inflicts, then Portland has a great chance to cover.

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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