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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors NBA Betting Preview, Odds, Analysis

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2016

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) mentions to his team during a play against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
Alonzo Adams/Associated Press

The Eastern Conference’s two best teams will square off for the third time this season when the Toronto Raptors (38-18) host the Cleveland Cavaliers (41-15) on Friday as small home underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark.

The Cavaliers won the last meeting 122-100 as eight-point home favorites on January 4 in a game that went way over the closing total of 194 points.

That was Cleveland’s fourth victory in the past five meetings, and the team also improved to 8-4 against the spread in the previous 12 matchups, according to the Odds Shark NBA Database.

Overall, the Cavs have won six of seven straight up following a two-game skid, going 4-3 ATS during that stretch. They are coming off a 114-103 rout of the Charlotte Hornets as 8.5-point home favorites on Wednesday, bouncing back from a 96-88 loss to the Detroit Pistons as 9.5-point home chalk two days earlier.

New acquisition Channing Frye stepped up against the Hornets in his first game after coming over in a deal prior to the NBA trade deadline, scoring 15 points and grabbing six rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench.

Toronto has won three in a row SU with a 2-1 mark ATS since losing two straight on the road to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls.

The Raptors avenged their loss to the Timberwolves, though, with a 114-105 victory on Wednesday but failed to cover the spread as 9.5-point home favorites. Toronto All-Stars DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry scored 20 of the team’s 27 points in the fourth quarter and combined for 52 overall.

The previous two wins for the Raptors were decided by double digits, with both resulting in easy covers. They are 20-6 SU at home and 14-12 ATS.

Cleveland lost in its last visit to the Air Canada Centre 103-99 as a three-point road favorite in the first meeting this season back on November 25.

However, the Cavs did not yet have point guard Kyrie Irving back after undergoing offseason knee surgery, and reserve Matthew Dellavedova was also out with a calf injury. Lowry took advantage of their absences by scoring a game-high 27 points while adding six assists and four steals.

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