Boston Celtics (65-31 SU, 61-33-2 ATS) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (58-38 SU, 36-58-1 ATS)
Time: Saturday, May 19, 2018 – 8:30 PM EDT
Where: Quicken Loans Arena – Cleveland, OH
by Keith, Professional NBA Handicapper, Predictem
Odds Boston +240, Cleveland -280
Point Spread: Cleveland -6.5
Total Line: 205
The Cleveland Cavaliers will welcome the Boston Celtics to the Quicken Loans Arena for Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals. The game is scheduled for an 8:35 PM tip-off and is due to be televised for national audiences on ESPN. As a general trend, Cleveland was dominant against the Celtics prior to the two franchises meeting in this series. In fact, Cleveland eliminated Boston from the playoffs last year in an identical scenario between the two teams. However, the Celtics have taken control the Eastern Conference Finals as they emerged victorious in both games at home hosting the Cavs. Now, the Celtics have leaped out to a 2-0 lead. In Game One, the Celtics defeated the Cavaliers by 25 points. In Game Two, the contest was settled by 13 points even when LeBron James would go for 41 points and accrue a triple-double. Boston would still beat Cleveland 107-94.
If it hasn’t been taken into consideration now, it must be safe to assume at this point that the Celtics have shown no timidity when it comes to the powerhouse of the East. Despite the fact the Celtics have lost two marquee players due to injuries, this team has actually played better without both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. A crop of young players and seasoned veterans have glued together to play a rugged and in-your-face style of basketball that puts opponents on their back heels, including Cleveland.
As we head into the Game Three, there are a few key betting trends we are looking at. First, off the Celtics have gone 4-1 ATS in their last five outings against the Cavaliers. Overall, the Celtics are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games. A consideration that must be made is the fact that Boston is just 1-4 SU on the road in the playoffs. Cleveland on the year is 34-13 SU on their own court. See what is trending in our NBA Picks Forum
With a 2-0 lead, Boston has plenty of momentum as it heads into this contest. Considering that the average margin of the victory for the Green and White was 19 points in the first two games, the Celtics with enhanced points here seems like an appetizing play to the eyes of many.
The Cavaliers like the Celtics play at a higher level when they are at home. Even with the advantage of LeBron James, Cleveland is just a .500 team on the road. With two games going to The Land, The King and company will be foaming at the mouth with the opportunity to equalize this series. Given the playoff acumen of King James, the Cavaliers could bode upside here as they are less likely to be overvalued with two-game deficit to overcome.
From out of the chute, 53% of the public cash and 58% of the ticket action are with the Celtics in against the spread markets. On the contrary, we have seen the number rise by a point to indicate action has rolled in on Cleveland. In the Over/Under, we have seen the market rise by half of a point to reflect action on the Over. 80% of the public money and ticket action is on the Over to confirm this trend.
Boston’s hot hand in this Conference Final series sets up a scenario where the amount of points offered here seems like a gift. However, there is no such thing. Boston dominated the first two games of their first round series against the Milwaukee Bucks. In Game Three, the Celtics came in offered with a similar helping of points. It looked appealing to the eye but Milwaukee would smash the Celtics on their own court. Boston doesn’t play well on the road and Cleveland will use this to earn an emphatic Game Three victory.
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