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Kings vs. Cavaliers Prediction: Can the Cavs Climb to Second in the East?

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published February 5, 2024
10 min read

The Cleveland Cavaliers (31-16) are looking to extend their five-game win streak against the Sacramento Kings (29-19), winners of back-to-back road games against Eastern Conference opponents.

The Cavs are only a half-game behind the Milwaukee Bucks and would move into second in the East with a win. The Kings, meanwhile, are 4.5 games out of a crowded race for the top four and are trying to hold off the surging Phoenix Suns for fifth in the Western Conference.

Here, we will break down the betting odds and share our favorite picks for the Kings vs. Cavs matchup on Monday.

Kings vs Cavaliers 2024 02 05

Kings vs. Cavs Betting Odds for Friday, Feb. 5

The Cavaliers are favored by 4.5 points in their home building, where they are 17-8 (12-11-1 against the spread). The Kings are 15-11 straight-up and 16-9-1 ATS on the road.

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Sacramento Kings +4.5 (-105) +155 Over 235.5 (-105)
Cleveland Cavaliers -4.5 (-115) -190 Under 235.5 (-115)

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In many ways, this is a showdown between the two most underrated teams in the league.

The Cavs have dealt with their fair share (and then some) of injuries. Key players who have missed games include Donovan Mitchell (nine), Darius Garland (24), Evan Mobley (23), and Caris LeVert (10). That makes their unrelenting climb up the Eastern Conference ladder even more impressive, and now that they’re fully healthy, they should start to play their best basketball of the year.

No team has a better winning percentage than the Cavs in 2024 (86.7% - 13-2). Only four of those wins came against teams with winning records (Milwaukee twice, Orlando, LA Clippers), but they still won 13 of their last 14 games. 

Following a slow start to the year, Cleveland is up to second in defensive rating. The offense is only 17th in points per 100 possessions, but their playmaking and turnover issues (14th in assist percentage, 20th in turnover percentage) should be remedied by the full complements of their starting lineup and consistency they haven’t enjoyed for more than a few weeks.

The Cavs rank seventh in fastbreak and second-chance points despite playing at an average pace below league level. That helps make up for their three-point shooting woes (22nd in percentage - 35.7%). They’re solid in transition defense and rank fourth in points in the paint allowed and sixth in opponents’ second-chance points.

One of the more impressive parts of Cleveland’s defense is their perimeter defense. Despite starting two undersized guards in Garland and Mitchell, they allow the ninth-worst three-point percentage (35.4%) and eighth-fewest makes per game. 

Despite what their record suggests, the Cavs haven’t been much better at home than on the road. They only outscored opponents by an additional 1.6 points per 100 possessions, giving them a net rating of +5.5 at home.

The Kings were one Steph Curry 50-point masterpiece from advancing to the second round of the playoffs last year. Despite that, they’re still being overlooked, as evidenced by both Domantas Sabonis (19.9 points, 13.0 rebounds, 8.0 assists) and De’Aaron Fox (27.5 points, 5.4 assists, 5.0 rebounds) failing to make the All-Star team roster.

The Kings don’t amaze in the major advanced metrics, checking in at 15th in net rating (+1.1). They’re up to 10th (+2.0) over their last 15 games and won six of their last seven games, though only two of those were against teams above .500.

Sacramento’s greatest asset is its ability to score in the halfcourt with the Sabonis-Fox two-man game. They run a multitude of actions off of this initial setup, whether Fox is used as a decoy, receives a hand-off, or comes off the Sabonis screen looking to score or pass.

The Kings make the fourth-most threes per game despite being just above league-average in efficiency. They haven't found a way to execute at the same level on defense and allow opponents to shoot the second-best percentage from deep, a whopping 39.0%.

Sacramento isn’t a great rebounding team, but Sabonis leads the league in boards per game (13.0). He’ll have a tall task taking on Mobley and Jarrett Allen (questionable) and will need to hold his own for the Kings to have a reasonable hope of winning.

Sacramento outscored opponents by an average of 1.7 points per 100 possessions in 26 road games this season. All six of their most recent games (five of which were wins) were also played on the road, yet they managed an average scoring differential of +4.2 points.

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Kings vs. Cavs Prediction and Betting Pick

On top of the Kings being excellent against the spread on the road, they went 9-4 ATS as underdogs, giving them the highest cover percentage (69.2) in the league. At the same time, Cleveland went 16-11-2 ATS (59.3%) as a favorite and has been red-hot for a while.

The Cavs won the last three meetings between the two teams, most recently knocking them off 132-120 in Sacramento on Nov. 13.

We’re looking for history to hold true and for the Cavs to win and cover at home. The Kings are outstanding in the context of being a road underdog, but Cleveland’s defensive prowess should present too many problems for them to overcome, especially with Garland and Mobley back in the lineup. 

Kings vs. Cavs pick: Cavs -4.5 at BetMGM

How to Watch Kings vs. Cavs

  • When: Monday, Feb. 5, 7:00 p.m. ET

  • Where: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

  • TV: NBA League Pass

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

397 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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