Boston Celtics (66-33 SU, 62-35-2 ATS) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (60-38 SU, 38-59-1 ATS)
Time: Friday, May 25th, 2018 – 8:30 PM EDT
Where: Quicken Loans Arena – Cleveland, OH
by Keith, Professional NBA Handicapper, Predictem
Odds Boston +270, Cleveland -330
Point Spread: Cleveland -7
Total Line: 202
The Cleveland Cavaliers will once again host the Boston Celtics at the Quicken Loans Arena for Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals. The affair is scheduled for an 8:35 PM tip-off and is due to broadcasted for national audiences on ESPN. After an impressive outing in Game Five on their own court, the Boston Celtics have taken a 3-2 lead in this series. Moreover, the Celtics have improved to 11-0 SU on their own court. For Cleveland, the situation is simple: win or be eliminated. Given the play of LeBron James historically in scenarios such as these, the set-up is all the more thrilling.
The discussion in Game Five was the Boston defense. The play of Boston’s finest led to a robust display that held Cleveland’s offensive operations to an atypical 83 points. All throughout the regular season, Boston boasted having one of the best scoring defenses in the league complemented by a physical presence in the front court. In Game Five, Boston outrebounded Cleveland 45-39. The Celtics played their game according to plan.
In Game Six, there are several variables worth considering. Overall, the Celtics are 7-4 ATS in their last eleven games. Boston is encountering all forms of trouble on the road in the playoffs, as they are 1-6 SU away from Beantown. Cleveland has enjoyed home cooking themselves like Boston as they have won their last seven in The Q.
The Celtics have intangibles here that make them a savory play with the points. At this point, Boston knows it can play with any team in the NBA. Boston, after all, has the East’s best team one game away from an exit, doing so with several impact players who weren’t expected to have such a large role in the pre-season.
If you have the game’s best player on the floor with a proven track record of success in must-win situations such as these, you have to like Cleveland’s chances in this game. The question is the number on the table as Cleveland is bound to be overvalued on their home court by virtue of Boston’s weak road presence in itself. The fact remains the Cavs have played exceptionally at home, and they offer potential here as a result.
From out of the chute, 66% of the public cash and 59% of the ticket action are with the Cavaliers against the spread. Nevertheless, we have yet to see the market move in response to this lean. In consensus forums, we have seen 63% of the public like the Celtics. Conforming to the ideology of taking back an allotment of road points after an impressive home win, many takers are foaming at the mouth with Boston in this spot, and there is a good chance some late steam moves this line down to a more favorable price for Cleveland. In Over/Under markets, we have seen the market rise half of a point to reflect the action on the Over. 82% of the public money and 75% ticket action has come in on the Over to affirm this.
For both parties involved, it has been a tale of two series as both have appeared to be opposites of each other when they are home and away. At home, Cleveland’s offense has been catalytic. On the road, Cleveland has failed to break the 100-point mark in each of these three contests as the Boston defense has undermined them. Situationally, this game is one that goes into Cleveland’s wheelhouse. Given the impressive portfolio of performances the Cavs have pieced together in The Land there is plenty of equity spotting the points here.
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