Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds -- 11/18/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, OH
Where to watch: Bally Sports Ohio, NBC Sports Bay Area

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: NL
BetMGM: Warriors -8.5
Caesars: NL

Season record
Warriors: 12-2
Cavaliers: 9-7

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Warriors-Cavaliers preview and analysis


Recent form
Warriors: won eight of nine; won 117-99 at Nets on Tuesday
Cavaliers: won six of nine; lost 109-99 at Nets on Wednesday

The Golden State Warriors are back.

And they still don’t even have Klay Thompson.

It’s an incredible start the Warriors are on and we can only imagine what happens when No. 11 returns (hopefully better than ever for the sake of basketball fans everywhere), but the Warriors will try to win for the 13th time in 15 games on Thursday when they face the Cleveland Cavaliers.

That 117-99 victory against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday was about as big of a statement win you could have in November. And not only was it the game that has been circled on the calendar for so long on both sides, but it brought us all back to one underlying, no-doubt proclamation as we near the quarter mark of this NBA season:

Steph Curry is the MVP favorite and no one is even close to catching him.

Curry put up a game-high 37 points, outdueling Kevin Durant’s 19, as he left Barclays Center to the traditional MVP chant. The two-time league MVP has once or twice been accustomed to hearing those chants in opposing buildings, but even he was shocked that it came from the home of his former teammate.

Curry hit nine 3-pointers and shot 12 of 19 overall, one of four Warriors to score in double figures with Andrew Wiggins scoring an efficient 19 points on 7 of 11 shooting. Golden State made nearly 52 percent of its shots while the defense held Brooklyn to just 38.6 percent from the floor.

"So it's not the playoffs, but there's an intensity that you have to show up to beat a team like that," Curry said. "You thrive off that competitive atmosphere, knowing that there's a lot of talent on the floor."

The Warriors couldn’t have asked for a better bounce-back effort after losing by four at the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday. But you look at those other previous games before Sunday; dominating at home against the Chicago Bulls, and also winning by double digits against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks.

Those same Nets handled the Cavs on Wednesday night in Barclays 109-99, meaning Cleveland will return for a back-to-back to face Golden State in this one. One glaring omission from the Cleveland lineup is this year’s first-round pick Evan Mobley, who has gotten off to a rousing start (14.6 points, 8.0 rebounds).

Ricky Rubio’s renaissance in Cleveland continued with a 25-point night to lead the Cavs’ offense, but Darius Garland struggled with 24 points on 10 of 26 shooting.

Prediction


I don’t want to discredit the start the Cavs are on given how they’ve been surprising everyone as no one expected them to get off to this start. Being at home is going to help them in a plethora of ways, but the Warriors get that extra day to make the short flight to Cleveland and be ready for this game. No reason why Golden State shouldn’t win this game comfortably. Warriors by 15

Betting trends


The Warriors are 6-0 ATS this season after a stretch of winning four of five.

The under is 16-6 for the Warriors when playing a third road game in five days over the past three seasons.

The Cavs are 4-13 ATS against Pacific Division teams over the past three seasons.

Projected starting lineup


Warriors:
PG: Stephen Curry 
SG: Jordan Poole
SF:
Andrew Wiggins
PF:
Draymond Green
C:
Kevon Looney

Cavaliers:
PG: Ricky Rubio
SG: Darius Garland
SF:
Isaac Okoro
PF:
Kevin Love
C:
Jarrett Allen

Key injuries


Warriors: James Wiseman (knee, out), Andre Iguodala (out), Steph Curry (hip, questionable), Klay Thompson (Achilles, out)

Cavaliers: Lauri Markkanen (COVID, out), Evan Mobley (elbow, out), Collin Sexton (meniscus, out)

Statistical leaders


Warriors:
Points: Steph Curry -- 28.7
Rebounds: Draymond Green -- 7.9
Assists: Draymond Green -- 7.1

Cavaliers:
Points: Darius Garland -- 16.8
Rebounds: Jarrett Allen -- 10.9
Assists: Darius Garland -- 6.7

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert basketball picks today. And if you enjoyed this Golden State Warriors - Cleveland Cavaliers prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NBA projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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