Cleveland Cavaliers (58-36 SU, 36-56-1 ATS) vs. Boston Celtics (63-31 SU, 59-33-2 ATS)
Time: Sunday, May 13th, 2018 – 3:30 PM EDT
Where: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts
by Keith, Professional NBA Handicapper, Predictem
Odds Cleveland -125, Boston +105
Point Spread: Boston +1.5
Total Line: 204
The number four seed Cleveland Cavaliers will take to the road and head to Beantown to take on the number two seed Boston Celtics at the TD Garden for Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals. The game is slated for an 3:30 PM tip-off and is due to be broadcasted for national audiences on ABC. Overall, Cleveland has won four of the last five meetings between both teams.
The two teams step into this contest on the back-end on dominant performances in the Conference Semifinals. The Cavaliers played the roll of a broom and dustpan when they took down the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors in four games. As for the Boston Celtics, they eliminated the feel-good story of 2017, the Philadelphia 76ers in five games. The Celtics were able to do so without the services of point guard Kyrie Irving and small forward Gordon Hayward. These two clubs are quite familiar with each other. The two franchises met last year in the Conference Finals where the Cavaliers would knock out the Celtics in route to their third consecutive NBA Finals appearance. In the aforementioned series, the Cavaliers and Celtics were the top-two teams in the bracket. Like this series, Boston holds home court advantage should this series go the distance.
There are several key betting trends worth looking at as we enter Game One. First, off the Cavaliers have gone 3-1 ATS in their last four outings despite being quite overvalued all season long. Moreover, at home Boston is 34-14 SU whilst Cleveland is just 24-22 SU away from The Q. The Cavaliers however managed to beat the Raptors in consecutive games on the road in their respective series, considered by many to be a daunting task given the supremacy displayed by the Raps all season long in the Great White North.
The Cavaliers bode the advantage of one LeBron James. The King has made it to eight NBA finals has the experience and intangibles to push this series in Cleveland’s favor. Against Indiana and Toronto, it was clear that overall the Cavaliers were the weaker team but LeBron’s clutch play carried this team into this round. With him on the floor, the Cavaliers offer upside here.
Boston’s home court advantage in this contest is the selling point for any wager. The Celtics feature a young and robust crop of personnel that play with reckless abandon. The emergence of Terry Rozier has filled the void left by former Cavs point-man Kyrie Irving. In addition, the Celtics feature a deep bench that has been instrumental in their first two playoff series triumphs.
From out of the chute, we have seen a lean take shape on the Cavaliers. This is further embellished by a three-point swing to indicate steam on Cleveland. Boston opened as a favorite and now they are a dog. 79% of the cash and 73% of the ticket action is with the Cavs in this market. In the Over/Under, we have seen the market rise by 1.5 points to reflect action on the Over. This trend is further embellished by 53% of the cash action and 82% of the ticket action coming in on the Over. Read about how to play line movements: NBA Betting Strategies.
The Cleveland sweep of Toronto is bound to create a huge reaction from the consensus in this market. When you couple this with the narrative of LeBron James’ legacy, the Celtics are positioned to be greatly undervalued in this contest. The fact remains, Boston was overlooked in their series against Philadelphia and nevertheless made quick work of them. Expect Boston to play with a chip on their shoulder here and earn a statement win out of the gate.
KEITH’s PICK: Boston +105 - Are you looking to get your feet wet betting on games online? Fast payouts, great in-game wagering and a 50% deposit bonus for new clients! Check them out >>> Bovada.