The Cleveland Cavaliers will take square off against the Toronto Raptors for the third and final time this season on Saturday. Cleveland, which lost 124-121 in the last meeting, is looking to close out the season series with a 2-1 advantage. Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen will once again lead the Cavaliers in their next matchup with the Raptors.
The Cavaliers are 16-2 since the start of 2024 but one of those losses was handed out by the Raptors. Toronto, however, is a vastly different team than the one that tangled with Cleveland early in the year. They have Scottie Barnes, Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett as their main players now.
Toronto will be hoping the newly acquired Kelly Olynyk and Ochai Abaji are cleared to play and give them a boost against the streaking Cavaliers.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Toronto Raptors: Preview, prediction and betting tips
The Raptors will host the Cavaliers at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto at 7:30 p.m. ET. TSN and Bally Sports Ohio are the local networks that will cover the game. Streaming the matchup is also available by subscribing to the NBA League Pass.
Basketball fans can also tune in to SiriusXM, Sportsnet 590 and WTAM/WMMS/LA Mega to listen in to the action.
Moneyline: Cavaliers (-340) vs. Raptors (+270)
Spread: Cavaliers (-8.0) vs. Raptors (+8.0)
Total (O/U): Cavaliers (0228.5 -110) vs. Raptors (u228.5 -110)
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Toronto Raptors: Game preview
The Cavaliers have been the hottest team in the NBA since January. They hardly lost when Evan Mobley and Darius Garland were out with injuries. With the two back in harness, they’ve been dispatching opponents with ruthless efficiency.
Cleveland has stepped up on both ends of the floor during their recent impressive run. Its offense, which used to struggle, has ranked eighth in the NBA since the start of the year. As good as it has been on that end, the improvements on defense have been even better. The Cavaliers have ranked second in defensive rating since the new year.
The Raptors couldn’t have picked a more challenging opponent amid their trade deadline changes. Toronto might be undermanned when they visit the Cavaliers which will be a big disadvantage. Even if the new acquisitions are cleared to play, they will have to adjust to coach Darko Rajakovic’s system.
Toronto will be hoping it gets to slow down Cleveland and make it a close game towards the end. The Raptors may have a chance if they can force their streaking opponents to a drawn-out struggle.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Toronto Raptors: Starting lineups
Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell and Max Strus will start for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Toronto Raptors are likely to have Scottie Barnes, Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett, Gary Trent Jr. and Jakob Poeltl.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Toronto Raptors: Betting tips
Donovan Mitchell’s over/under points prop is 27.5, which is a bit lower than his season average of 28.5 PPG for the Cleveland Cavaliers. “Spida” has been on fire in February, averaging 30.4 points per contest on 55.9% shooting, including 42.9% from behind the arc. Against the Raptors’ bottom-10 defense, he could light up the scoresheet again.
The Toronto Raptors will lean on Scottie Barnes, particularly on offense. He has a 20.5 over/under points prop, which is just about the same as his season average of 20.2 PPG. Barnes hasn’t hit over 19 points in his last four games. Cleveland’s top-notch defense could also prevent him from going over his points prop.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Toronto Raptors: Prediction
The Cleveland Cavaliers are playing their best basketball in years. They will be taking on the struggling Toronto Raptors who are less than 24 hours away from a closely-fought 107-104 win against the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland’s superb play on both ends of the court, the Raptors’ changes and the back-to-back schedule will be too much for Toronto to overcome. The Cavaliers are likely to win another game and beat the Raptors’ spread in the process.
The Cavaliers and the Raptors combine for 229.1 PPG, which is higher than the over/under total points prop of 228.5. Betting under seems to be the better pick as the Raptors could struggle to put up points during the second game of a back-to-back set.