All these years later, LeBron James' team is still the toast of the Eastern Conference. He turned the Miami Heat into an alpha dog when he played for them, and he's done the same for the Cleveland Cavaliers over the last two years. And while the Cavaliers are, relative to his Heat teams, an inferior betting play, one more susceptible to letdowns, they remain the East's favorites. All of your Eastern Conference futures—conference championship chances, NBA Finals predictions—should be accordingly structured.
Are there teams in the East capable of beating the Cavaliers in a seven game series? Absolutely. But no team has earned the right to be considered better than Cleveland. Not in the East.
Out west, it's a different story. The Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs are measurably better than the Cavaliers. The Oklahoma City Thunder might be, too.
Keep that in mind with regard to the Cavaliers' championship odds. Their Eastern Conference chances, though, remain a no-brainer bet.
Who Do The Cleveland Cavaliers Play Next
Take a look at the Cavaliers' next game. This has all the pertinent information you need to research your bets: moneylines, spreads, overs and unders.
If you're a moneyline bettor, it's best to get your wagers in as early as possible, since those odds move the most over the course of the day. Spreads, overs and unders give you more flexibility, as those mostly remain intact or close to the same—barring a serious injury or news of an unexpected rest day for a star.
Use this to look at the Cavaliers' entire regular season schedule to formulate your own betting trends. The Cavaliers, again, are inconsistent game by game plays, but sifting through their entire schedule, both past and future games, will at least help you single out potential forthcoming bets that check in as justifiable or even certified locks.
Cleveland Cavaliers Standings Today
There isn't a huge need to look at the Cavaliers' place in the Eastern Conference every day. They will sit atop the standings for the foreseeable future.
Still, these standings keep you aware of possible playoff opponents, which will aid you in your postseason betting. And if at some point the Cavaliers drop out of first or appear on the verge of dropping out of first, you'll know it's time to start shopping around for some long shot futures bets that go against Cleveland and could, in theory, help bolster your sportsbook purse.
How To Make Money Betting On Cleveland Cavaliers
In a vacuum, it makes sense to bet on the Cavaliers' championship chances. Their Eastern Conference reign remains, in many ways, a formality. And if they're locks to make the NBA Finals, that makes them a viable title play, since reaching the championship round is more than half the battle. But while this was a good line of thinking in years past, when LeBron was on the Heat and even during the first season of his return to Cleveland, there are a few things wrong with it now.
The Spurs and Warriors are both drastically better than the Cavaliers. They also happen to be, as a result, the most likely opponents the Cavaliers will face in the NBA Finals, deprecating Cleveland's fundamental championship chances by default.
It would still be worth betting on the Cavaliers if their odds were a reflection of this, but that's the next probelm. The odds aren't a reflection of this. Sportsbooks still give the Cavaliers too much credit in the championship department because of how likely they are to reach the NBA Finals. So your investment will have to be pretty large to guarantee a modest to immodest return, and the likelihood of you winning that return isn't all that high in the first blace.
Either doubling down on the Cavaliers' conference futures or splitting your potential bet into a few bets as you search for long shots to upset Cleveland in the East is the more sensible play. And this is likely to be true for a while. The Spurs and Warriors show no signs of slowing in the near future, and the Cavaliers, once they miss out on a chance to win the title, will probably undergo some semblance of an offseason overhaul that makes it even more difficult, if completely pointless, to throw any money into their championship lines.
Don't Haphazardly Bet On The Cavs As Future Champions
Single game Cavaliers bets are the least reliable. This is almost never the case, especially with perceived title contenders. Individual game bets are the most turbulent for everyone, since the "Any Given Sunday" rule applies, but the cream of the crop usually become dependable plays in one area, be it the over, under or spread. That just doesn't hold true for the Cavaliers. Moneyline bets are fine, but more specific wagers will be frustrating.
The reason? The Cavaliers tend to play down to the level of their opponents. Spreads you think they should cover, they just don't. And spreads you think they won't cover, they do.
Cleveland's offensive and defensive efforts are inconsistent, and that also makes it finanically irresponsible to invest in over and under gambles.
If you are hankering for some sort of trend, there is one, albeit it's one you should take with a grain of salt.
Large spreads in their favor are worth betting against. By this, we mean that if the Cavaliers are favored by eight or more points against a given opponent, give those points to the opponent.
Bet at your responsible discretion when the opponent in question is really bad, but even then, the Cavaliers are more likely to play down to the level of their rival team than they are to blow them out.