It hasn’t been the picture-perfect start to the 2023-24 campaign for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers, but both teams are over .500 and have an opportunity to get one step closer to the top of their respective conference. Our Los Angeles Lakers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers predictions, starting lineups, and betting odds are below.
Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction
After a blowout home loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday, the Cleveland Cavaliers will look to bounce back tonight against the Lakers. Cleveland had registered four consecutive wins before dropping its last game to Miami. Interestingly enough, the Cavs missed Donovan Mitchell for four of those five games, too.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles was in a similar situation; it logged three straight wins before losing the last game versus Dallas. The Lakers have their own set of injury issues, but Anthony Davis and LeBron James have largely (and surprisingly) been available this season.
Like many other games that we have covered recently, our betting pick will come down to player availability. Donovan Mitchell and LeBron James are listed as questionable, and if any players can move the line one way or the other in this matchup, it would be these two.
Assuming that Mitchell misses another game and LeBron gets a “rest” day, the Cavaliers have some value as four-point home favorites, despite only being 1-3 ATS this season as home favorites. The Lakers thrive when they can dig deep into their bench and get quality minutes from players like Cam Reddish, Gabe Vincent, and Rui Hachimura.
Backcourt depth is currently an issue for both teams, but Cleveland has an advantage in playing well without its stars; it is 3-2 this season without Donovan Mitchell. Additionally, Caris LeVert (17.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, and 3.8 apg) is a serviceable two-guard to stick into the starting lineup alongside Darius Garland. Further, this is not an ideal matchup (see below) for Anthony Davis, who has failed to score over 20 points in each of his past four games against the Cavs.
If LeBron plays, but Mitchell is still out, we will buy out of our play and live bet (and fade Anthony Davis.) Lastly, if they both play, we still lean towards the Cavaliers against the spread.
Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction: Cavs -4 (-110)
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Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Best Odds
Cleveland is a four-point home favorite against the shorthanded Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday. The Lakers have Moneyline odds of +142, while the Cavs’ odds are -170. The point total is at 224.5, with -110 odds for the Over and the Under.
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup
Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Injuries
The Los Angeles have a laundry list of players on their injury report heading into Saturday night’s matchup against Cleveland: Gabe Vincent (knee), Rui Hachimura (nasal fracture), and Jarred Vanderbilt (heel) are all listed as out. LeBron James (calf) and Cam Reddish (groin) are questionable for the bout.
Meanwhile, Cleveland will be without Ricky Rubio (mental health), Dean Wade (ankle), and Ty Jerome (ankle.) The Cavaliers also have Donovan Mitchell (hamstring) and Isaac Okoro (ankle) listed as questionable, so stay tuned to the injury report leading up until tip-off.
Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Key Matchups
The key matchup for this battle between two championship-contending squads belongs to Anthony Davis and Jarrett Allen. See if Davis can play a bit more consistently or if Allen will cause trouble with his length below!
Anthony Davis vs. Jarrett Allen
Criticism of Anthony Davis over the past few years has revolved around two things: his availability/injury history and his consistency, or lack thereof. A terrific example of Davis’ volatile play could be summed up in his past five games; he has had three games of 16 or fewer points and two games where he finished with 26 and 27 points.
Even still, Davis is averaging close to 22 points, 12 rebounds, and four “stocks” (steals plus blocks) per game this season. Meanwhile, Jarrett Allen has posted close to 13 points and seven rebounds per game; however, he is not quite the quality of rim protector that he has been in the past, amassing only one block per game.
Which Davis will we get against Jarrett Allen and the Cavaliers?
Not including the last bout against Cleveland, when he only played eight minutes, Davis has scored 20 or fewer points in five of the past six games. Yikes. However, he did have one monstrous game of 38 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, four blocks, and two steals. There was a big difference in that game, though. Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley weren’t on the Cavaliers yet.
As a matter of fact, Tristan Thompson, Larry Nance Jr., Kevin Love, Channing Frye, and Ante Zizic were the frontcourt players on that 19-win Cleveland squad that Davis decimated. Again, yikes.
We don’t like Davis in this spot against a physical and lengthy frontcourt that he has struggled against in recent history. Advantage: Jarrett Allen.