Donovan Mitchell waves off a teammate

Dec 17, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) gestures to a teammate during the second half against the Dallas Mavericks at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Josefczyk-USA TODAY Sports

  • Cleveland is a 5.5-point home favorite in the Jazz vs Cavaliers odds on Monday
  • Cavs star Donovan Mitchell will face his former team for the first time since being traded to Cleveland
  • The available Jazz vs Cavaliers odds, injury news and predictions are below

When the Jazz (17-15, 6-10 road) traded away Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, the thought was they’d be battling for next spring’s top overall pick. But tanking never crossed Utah’s mind. Despite the odds being stacked against them, they’ve been one of the biggest surprises in the NBA.

The Jazz started the season 10-3, and despite cooling off since, still own a better record than the Warriors, Lakers and Mavericks. They’ll look to get back in the win column on Monday, when they take on the aforementioned Mitchell and the Cavaliers.

Online sportsbooks are certainly not bullish on Utah’s chances for success, as they pegged Cleveland as the sizeable home chalk in the NBA odds.

Jazz vs Cavaliers Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Utah Jazz +5.5 (-110) +190 Over 222 (-110)
Cleveland Cavaliers -5.5 (-110) -230 Under 222 (-110)

Odds as of December 18 at FanDuel. Claim the FanDuel Sportsbook promo code to bet on the Jazz vs Cavaliers game.

The Cavaliers are currently 5.5-point favorites, in a contest that features a total of 222. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:10 pm ET at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio, and will mark Mitchell’s first game against the team he was drafted by.

 

 

Jazz vs Cavaliers Betting Analysis

The Mitchell trade was worked out beautifully for both the Cavaliers (20-11, 14-2 home) and Jazz. Mitchell is playing like an NBA MVP odds candidate, averaging 29.5 points per game, while shooting 50% from the field.

Cleveland is off to a 20-11 start, good for third place in the East, while the Cavs rank second in the league in NET rating.

Utah on the other hand, has exceeded all expectations so far this season, with Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton playing a big role. Those two, along with a king’s ransom of draft picks were traded to the Jazz for Mitchell, and Markkanen in particular has blossomed into an All-Star calibre player.

The 25-year-old leads the team in scoring and rebounding, shooting a blistering 41% from three. Sexton has provided instant offense off the bench averaging 14 points a night, however he’s already been ruled out of Monday’s action with a hamstring injury.

Back to Cleveland now, who owns the best defense in the league in addition to a potent offensive attack. The Cavs are yielding a league low 104.6 points per game, holding opponents to just 45% from the field and 34% from three.

At the other end, Cleveland sits 11th in offensive rating, and boasts potent scorers both inside and out. In addition to Mitchell, Darius Garland is one of the league’s premier distributors and can also go for 30 on any given night. The Cavs also feature twin towers Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen who dominate the post.

Utah meanwhile, relies heavily on its outside shooting. They take the fifth most threes in the NBA, making the fourth most. Markkanen, Malik Beasley and Kelly Olynyk all shoot north of 40% from beyond the arc, while two other Jazz players shoot in the 38% range.

NBA NET Rating Ranks

Team Rank
Boston Celtics 1
Cleveland Cavaliers 2
New Orleans Pelicans 3
Phoenix Suns 4
Milwaukee Bucks 5
Utah Jazz 12

Utah needs to be that efficient with its long distance shooting because its defense is weak. The Jazz rank 25th in defensive rating, and surrender the most points in the paint in the NBA.

Jazz vs Cavaliers Prediction

That spells trouble against Cleveland, especially given the Cavaliers recent form. Cleveland has won three straight, and 14 of 16 at home. Their offense has been superb in their own building all season, averaging 115 points per 100 possessions, which is five points higher than on the road.

Mitchell is one game removed from a 41 point effort, and has two 40+ point nights over the last five contests.

NBA Scoring Leaders

Player PPG
Joel Embiid 33.3
Luka Doncic 33.0
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 31.2
Giannis Antetokounmpo 30.6
Jayson Tatum 30.2
Donovan Mitchell 29.5

But here’s the main reason to target the Cavaliers in this matchup: they don’t give up threes. Cleveland yields the sixth fewest three point attempts per game, and the seventh fewest makes. They’re going to force the Jazz to operate inside the three-point line, and Utah better think twice before entering the paint.

That’s because the Cavaliers are the league’s number one team defending that area, led by the defensive prowess of Mobley and Allen.

Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers -5.5 (-110)

 

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Chris Amberley

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