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Denver Nuggets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers - 11/7/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Cleveland Cavaliers (1-3) at Denver Nuggets (1-3)

NBA Basketball: Friday, November 7, 2014 at 10:30 pm (Pepsi Center)

The Line: Denver Nuggets +3 -- Over/Under: 207.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Cleveland Cavaliers look to rebound in a spotlight game on ESPN against the Denver Nuggets.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are 1-3 to start the year with a signature road win against the Bulls in OT on their resume but not much else to be even remotely excited about.  Of course we’ve seen this storyline play out many times before in the NBA when a team full of big-name players is assembled, but the public seems to continually forget that in a chemistry-oriented game like basketball you simply won’t know where your teammates are innately without playing a certain number of games together.   Chemistry honestly might not play a huge role in this particular matchup against the Nuggets though, who have been a sieve defensively allowing 106 points per game.   That should allow LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Dion Waiters to simply beat the man guarding them using plenty of drives to the basket to exploit a defense that doesn’t know how to help down low.  The issue could come if the Nuggets finally live up to their scoring potential and run the floor in the altitude conditions, thereby testing the depth of a Cavs team that hasn’t shown much quality off the bench.

Denver Nuggets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers - 11/7/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets are also 1-3 to start the year after winning their opener and entering this game on a three game skid.  The Nuggets have typically been reliant on the three ball, but so far this year the strategy isn’t working as they enter this game hitting just 26.5% from beyond the arc.  PG Ty Lawson hasn’t been prolific scoring to start the year as he deals with an ankle injury, but he’s still been effective as a distributor with 21 assists in the last two games.  Kenneth Faried was in beast mode in Denver’s only win, but since then he has been quiet which could have something to do with JaVale McGee playing sparingly at center, leaving the defense free to offer help when Timofey Mozgov is in the game instead.  Arron Afflalo hasn’t fully found his rhythm yet since returning to Denver from Orlando, but he could be a key player moving forward considering how strong of an offensive season he had with the Magic last year.  The Nuggets will likely need to find their scoring punch against the Cavs after getting trampled by the Kings in their most recent outing.

Neither team is in form defensively and typically games in the altitude have yielded big totals over the years with Denver playing an up-tempo style that uses a lot of fresh legs.  While this total is on the high end of the spectrum, I see it being easily surpassable especially given the spotlight element.  

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Over 207.5 (5 units)

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