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Cleveland Cavaliers vs Utah Jazz: Preview, odds, best bets, how to watch, more

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Donovan Mitchell and the Cavs will face the Jazz
Cleveland Cavaliers’ Donovan Mitchell (45) drives around Phoenix Suns’ Mikel Bridges (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Phoenix, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

The Cleveland Cavaliers have won four out of their last five games after taking full advantage of a depleted Suns side. However, now they’ll have to ramp up the intensity when they go on the road for Donovan Mitchell’s first trip back to Utah after forcing a trade in the offseason. 

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 Cleveland Cavaliers (26-15) vs Utah Jazz (20-23)

 

Game Details:

  • Location: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Utah
  • Time: Tuesday, January 10th at 9:00 p.m. ET

Betting odds:

  • Spread: CLE -2.5
  • Moneyline: CLE (-140), UTAH (+118)
  • Over/Under: 226.5 points

Matchup:

Donovan Mitchell will obviously be the main storyline tonight. He and the Cavs are rocking and rolling into the new year after the guard put up 22 against the Suns, tying the team lead with Darius Garland, who has also been thriving over the past few weeks. 

Mitchell is averaging 28.8 points per game this season on 48.8% shooting from the field to go along with 3.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. His presence in Cleveland has helped the Cavs lead the league in opposing points allowed per game, which is significantly better than the 24th-ranked Jazz. 

However, the Jazz will certainly be geared to take on Mitchell, who may or may not have tried to force his way out of Utah in the offseason. With Rudy Gobert also out of town, this is a new-look Jazz team, but one that has performed better than expected. 

Part of that has to do with the emergence of Lauri Markkanen, who leads the team with 24.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game since coming over in the Mitchell trade. Collin Sexton, who was also part of that trade, has been good for Utah, averaging 14.1 points, 2.9 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game but he’s been limited by injuries this year, including a hamstring injury that will keep him out of this game. 

Without Sexton in the lineup, things haven’t exactly been jazzy in Utah lately. The Grizzlies, without Ja Morant, were able to make winning look easy over the weekend. The Jazz are pretty reliant on players like Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson to get hot early. They do rank 3rd in points scored per game, but if the offense isn’t there, they don’t have the defensive capabilities to stop teams from pouring in points. The Jazz rank 23rd in defensive rebounds, and 22nd in both fouls and turnovers. 

A team as hot as the Cavs should be able to take full advantage of these defensive lapses and make this win look routine.

Prediction:

Cavaliers 107 – 93 Jazz

Players to watch:

Obviously, Mitchell, Markannen, and Clarkson are some of the biggest names in the game, but there are some other players to keep an eye on. 

 Isaac Okoro | Cleveland

I’m going to go with a wildcard here. Okoro exploded for a 14-point day against the Suns after returning to the starting 5, which considering his 5 PPG average, is pretty good. Okoro has been disappointing since being drafted fifth overall back in 2020, but he’s still only 21 years old and that’s easy to forget sometimes.

 

Kelly Olynyk | Utah

Olynyk had his best game since sustaining an ankle injury back in December, putting up 19 points, 8 boards, and 5 assists against the Grizzlies. But then he left the game in the fourth quarter having appeared to have injured the same ankle. It would be a real shame to see Olynyk miss more time, as the versatile former Celtic has been formidable from range this season, shooting a career-high .413 from the 3-point line, and even a career-high FG percentage. If he’s healthy, he will be a key cog in Utah’s bid to stop Cleveland.

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Prop Bets:

Darius Garland Over 20.5 points -105
Evan Mobley Over 11.5 points -225
Jordan Clarkson under 20.5 points -110

For more NBA coverage, like this Cavs and Jazz preview, visit amNY Sports.com

Kelly Olynyk and the Jazz take on the Cavaliers
Utah Jazz forward Kelly Olynyk drives against Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones (21) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)