Cavaliers minus $1.15 (money line) at Nets

Up until the playoffs, the Cavaliers were underrated. They are underrated here, too.

Cleveland won 51 games last season. The Nets won 45 games and have a new-look roster having moved on from Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

The Cavaliers are the superior team, an elite defensive club. The Cavaliers aren’t going to lack motivation either after an embarrassing first-round playoff elimination by the Knicks last season.

The Knicks hurt Cleveland on the boards and took advantage of the Cavaliers’ poor outside shooting. The Nets don’t have the capability to exploit that. The Cavaliers upgraded their outside shooting adding Max Strus and have the best player on the court in Donovan Mitchell.

It’s going to take the Nets a while to get in sync with Ben Simmons expected to play a much bigger role to go with those players brought in after dealing away superstars Durant and Irving.

I’m not sold on Jacque Vaughn coaching up the Nets, nor on Mikal Bridges being New Jersey’s new main man. Bridges averaged 26.1 points in 27 games for the Nets last season. Brooklyn, however, was 12-15 in those games.

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