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NBA Props for LeBron’s Return to Cleveland

LeBron James
LeBron James has been at the forefront of the Lakers' attack all season long. (Photo by Prensa Internacional/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
  • LeBron James makes his highly anticipated return to Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday evening
  • Will the 14-time All-Star respond with a record-breaking performance?
  • Will Luke Walton opt to rest LeBron in the fourth quarter if the game turns into a blow out? 

It’s shaping up to be a rough week to be one of LeBron James’ former franchises.

The three-time MVP torched the Miami Heat for a season-high 51 points on Sunday evening and will look to inflict even more damage tonight when he returns to Quicken Loans Arena for the first time since leaving the Cavaliers in free agency.

We’ve sized up this evening’s matchup between the Lakers and Cavs and have found three can’t miss props to wager on before tip off.

Prop #1: LeBron Will Score at Least 29 Points

Prop Odds at BetOnline
LeBron James Will Score 29 or More Points Against the Cavaliers -179

This isn’t the first time that LeBron has faced the Cavs after leaving for greener pastures. James suited up against Cleveland as a member of the Miami Heat on December 2nd, 2010, and proceeded to shred his former team for 38 points, five rebounds, and eight assists. The 14-time All-Star was considerably younger then, but he’s consistently come up big against the Cavs, and is averaging 27.6 points against Cleveland over 13 career games.

LeBron should face little resistance tonight as the Cavs are absolutely atrocious defensively. Cleveland has the NBA’s worst defensive rating and is allowing opponents to shoot a robust 48.5% from the floor.

LeBron James is averaging 27.6 points against Cleveland over 13 career games.

It’s tempting to wager on James netting 35 or more at +137, but he could easily find himself on the bench in the fourth if this game turns into a route. Play it safe and stick with the lower payout.

Prop #1: LeBron Will Have at Least 8 Rebounds

Prop Odds at BetOnline
LeBron James Will Have 8 or More Rebounds Against the Cavaliers -114

The Cavs have been decent on the offense glass this season thanks to the herculean efforts of Tristan Thompson, but they stink at the other end of the court, where they rank 28th in defensive rebounding.

That’s good news for LeBron, who enters tonight’s game averaging 7.7 boards. That number goes up to 7.9 in Lakers victories. And make no mistake about it, LA will assuredly win tonight.

Prop #1: LeBron Will Make at Least 3 Three-Pointers

Prop Odds at BetOnline
LeBron James Will Have 3 or More Three-Pointers Against the Cavaliers -152

It’s been fascinating watching LeBron evolve into a reliable three-point shooter. The 33-year-old Akron native has increased his accuracy in each of the last four years, and is now shooting just a hair under 40% from deep on the season. James has been especially hot in November, connecting on 50% of his shots from beyond the arc, including 6-8 from deep on Sunday against Miami.

LeBron has made at least three three-pointers in each of his last six games and should have no problem splashing the net tonight against a Cavs defense that ranks a distant 20th in opponent three-point field goal percentage.

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Ryan Murphy began his love affair with sports journalism at the age of nine when he wrote his first article about his little league baseball team. He has since authored his own column for Fox Sports, and now serves as SBD’s resident NBA and MLB expert.