Cleveland Cavaliers (60-37 SU, 38-58-1 ATS) vs. Boston Celtics (65-33 SU, 61-35-2 ATS)
Time: Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018 – 3:30 PM EDT
Where: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts
by Keith, Professional NBA Handicapper, Predictem
Odds Cleveland -115, Boston -105
Point Spread: Boston +1
Total Line: 206.5
The Cleveland Cavaliers will hit the road and head to Beantown to square off with the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden for Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals. The contest is scheduled for an 8:30 PM tip-off and will be broadcasted for national audiences on ESPN. The series so far has been an evenly matched one. The Celtics jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the Cavaliers when they honed their home court advantage to snag two quick victories over LeBron James and company. Cleveland would respond with two wins of their own to equalize the series at 2-2 after they utilized home cooking in The Q.
LeBron James continues to put on a spectacle as he went for 44 points in Game Four. The King is showing once again why many have made arguments for why he could be considered the greatest to ever take the court with his clutch play and penchant for rising to the moment in big games. The Cavaliers drawing level in this series turns the Eastern Conference Finals now into a best of three. Two of these fixtures will take place in Boston. The Celtics have fared well on their home court all throughout the post-season, and this narrative serves as a refuge for them as they weather the resurgent Cavs.
There are several key betting trends worth looking at here in this contest. At home, Boston is 36-14 SU while Cleveland is just 24-24 SU away from The Land. The Celtics remain undefeated at home throughout the post-season. In Over/Under markets, the defensive prowess of Boston has created situations where the Under has gone 4-2 ATS in the last six meetings between these two franchises.
The Cavaliers are a team that maximizes on riding a hot hand. Look no further than how this outfit fared against Indiana and Toronto. Against the Raptors, in particular, the Cavaliers won four straight games. Of course, the presence of LeBron James brings a new level of intangibles into the fold for Cleveland as he has won several games for the Cavaliers on the heels of his clutch play.
Boston’s home court advantage remains the biggest selling point in Game Five. As mentioned, the Celtics play at a higher level when they are at home, and they will look to capitalize here to re-establish themselves in this series. With Game Six transpiring in Cleveland, the Celtics will look at this game as a virtual must-win albeit they will be facing elimination if they were to fall here and go back to The Land down 3-2.
From out of the gate, we have seen a lean take shape on the Cavaliers. A one-point line further embellishes this lean move upward to indicate steam has rolled in on Cleveland. Both teams opened as a pick-em, now the Celtics are a home dog. 61% of the cash action and 62% of the ticket action has come in on Boston to counter the trend in this market. In the Over/Under, we have seen the market remain idle. Nevertheless, we have seen 52% of the cash action and 70% of the ticket action come in on the Over to once again subvert the tendency in this market.
Situationally this scenario sets up ideally for Boston takers as they are now getting a team that has not yet lost a game this playoff season with a point to spot. However, if there is anyone that knows to negate the hostilities of an away game it is LeBron James. Given the fact the Cavs have found a blueprint for success against Boston, we can expect them to utilize it here and come out with yet another W.
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