Cleveland Cavaliers (58-37 SU, 36-57-1 ATS) vs. Boston Celtics (64-31 SU, 60-33-2 ATS)
Time: Tuesday, May 15th, 2018 3:30 PM EDT
Where: TD Garden Boston, Massachusetts
by Keith, Professional NBA Handicapper, Predictem
Odds Cle -105, Bos -115
Point Spread: Boston -1
Total Line: 203
The Cleveland Cavaliers will once again leave The Land to visit Beantown to square off with the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden for Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals. The contest is scheduled for an 8:30 PM tip-off and it will be broadcasted for national audiences on ESPN. As of recent, Cleveland has won four of the last six fixtures between both teams. However, in Game One the Celtics owned the Cavaliers as they defeated Cleveland at home by a margin of 25 points. Such an outcome caught many off guard considering how Cleveland looked in the Conference Semifinals against Toronto. Cleveland overall shot poorly against the rugged Boston Defense and their star player LeBron James had an off game in his own right.
It can be clearly deduced that the Boston Celtics are not afraid of the three-time defending Eastern Conference Champions. Moreover, the hosts are keen on taking it to LeBron James and company as this time believes it can go the distance despite being a heavy underdog to win this series let alone win the NBA Finals. Led by the play of Jason Tatum, Terry Rozier, Greg Monroe, Al Horford, and Marcus Morris, the Celtics defense was exceptional as they controlled the Cavaliers offense to score just 83 points.
There are many betting trends worth taking a closer look at as we enter Game Two. First, off the Celtics have gone 3-1 ATS in their last four outings against the Cavaliers. Overall, the Celtics are 5-2 ATS in their last seven fixtures. Moreover, at home Boston is 35-14 SU whilst Cleveland is just 24-23 SU away from The Land. The Celtics remain undefeated at home throughout the playoffs.
The Cavaliers still hold the advantage of LeBron James. Very simply, LeBron James is the best in the world and if he is on the court, Cleveland can win anytime, anyplace. Lest us forget that the Cavaliers were dominated in Game One in against Indiana in the Conference Quarterfinals yet they managed to win the series in seven games. LeBrons clutch play served as the catalyst to get the Cavaliers over the hump and through to the next round.
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Bostons home court advantage remains the biggest selling point in these scenarios. In addition to the narrative of playing this one in Beantown, the Celtics clearly have a coaching advantage with Brad Stevens at the helm. Despite being without two star players due to injuries, the Celtics young and fierce players have been playing above their station all playoffs.
From out of the gate, we have seen a lean take shape on the Celtics. This is further embellished by a three-point swing to indicate steam has rolled in on Boston. Boston opened as a two-point underdog and now they are a one-point favorite. Nevertheless, 54% of the cash action is with the Cavs in this market. In the Over/Under, we have seen the market rise remain idle. Nevertheless, we have seen 90% of the cash action and 86% of the ticket action come in on the Over.
The Boston domination of Cleveland in Game One sets up a classic case for an overreaction and a true zig-zag from the general public. Now, as a result there is tremendous value on the Cavaliers given the fact that Boston looks like an easy play here with another game in the TD Garden and a deceptively friendly price. However, LeBron James knows how to respond to adversity as good as any player and you can be that he will power the Cavaliers to a victory here to even this series.
KEITHs PICK: Cleveland Cavaliers -105.