Playoff basketball is back in Cleveland.
After losing in the NBA’s play-in round last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers added Donovan Mitchell and earned the Eastern Conference’s No. 4 seed with a solid 51-31 record this season.
Cleveland will now begin the 2023 NBA Playoffs on Saturday at home against the New York Knicks. Television coverage will begin at 6 p.m. on ESPN.
With sports betting in Ohio up and running, Ohio bettors are helping make the Cavs one of the league’s most-bet teams in the Eastern Conference futures market. The team is the biggest liability at BetMGM Sportsbook thanks to 17.6% of tickets and 18.1% of handle coming in on the Cavs.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. New York Knicks series odds
The Cavs are 31-10 at home this season and will have home-court advantage against the No. 5 Knicks (47-35) in the best of seven series. The Cavaliers are currently 6-point favorites in the opening game with a moneyline price of -240. The game’s total is set at 214.5.
DraftKings Sportsbook has Cleveland favored to win the series at -200. The Knicks are priced at +200.
DraftKings also has pricing available on the series score. Those odds are as follows:
- Cavs -2.5 games: +210
- Cavs -1.5 games: +105
- Cavs +1.5 games: -330
- Cavs +2.5 games: +1000
- Knicks +2.5 games: -265
- Knicks +1.5 games: -130
- Knicks -1.5 games: +255
- Knicks -2.5 games: +600
Cavaliers vs. Knicks betting trends
Stats courtesy of DraftKings:
- The Knicks are 3-1 against the Cavs this season and have been underdogs in every game.
- Cleveland is 42-36-4 against the spread this season and 40-42 vs. the over/under.
- New York is 43-34-5 against the spread this season and 43-37-2 to the over/under.
Cleveland Cavs 2023 NBA Championship and Eastern Conference odds
Caesars Sportsbook has the Milwaukee Bucks (+275) and Boston Celtics (+325) as the favorites to win the NBA title. The Phoenix Suns (+425) and Golden State Warriors (+800) are next.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are ninth in NBA Championship odds at Caesars (+3000) and are fourth in Eastern Conference futures (+1100). Milwaukee (+125), Boston (+155), and Philadelphia (+450) are the favorites in the East.
Players to watch in the Cavs’ first-round matchup
Donovan Mitchell: Mitchell gives the Cavs a dynamic player that Cleveland has been missing ever since LeBron James went west to Los Angeles. The guard is seventh in the league in scoring, with an average of 28.3 points per game. He also owns some playoff experience thanks to his five previous years in Utah. And if you’re looking for a long shot, Mitchell is +5000 to win the NBA Finals MVP this season.
Evan Mobley: The Cavs’ second-year player will be a key factor in Cleveland’s playoff performance. He’ll be expected to contain Knicks star Julius Randle while also fueling Cleveland’s defense. He averaged 9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game during the regular season.
Jalen Brunson: Brunson is 20th in the league in scoring average (24 ppg) and has had some impressive performances this season. He scored 48 points in a win over the Cavs in March and has scored more than 30 points almost 20 times this season. Cleveland will need to corral Brunson to win the series.
NBA playoff promotions and offerings by Ohio sports betting apps
Ohio’s sportsbooks and betting apps will have plenty of promotions and offerings loaded up for the NBA playoffs.
Bettors can expect to find spreads, moneylines, totals, single-game parlays, and player props available for each game.
Many sportsbook sites and apps will offer additional promotions as well.
Select DraftKings players may receive a No Sweat, Single Game Parlay offer that provides a small safety net for their wagers. Over at FanDuel Sportsbook, users can receive bonus bets for their qualifying single-game parlays on NBA games. Other sportsbooks are likely offering similar own promotions.
Cleveland Cavaliers 2023 playoff outlook
It’s been nearly five years since King James left Cleveland, and the Cavaliers have been struggling to make the playoffs ever since.
Thanks to Mitchell and a talented young roster, the Cavs overcame those frustrations this year.
Now, excitement is once again coursing through Cleveland. The first round of the playoffs begins on Saturday. And the Cavaliers are favored to advance.
After that, a matchup with Milwaukee seems likely. Still, at the moment, almost anything seems possible.