Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics Preview and Pick – Point Spread – Betting Odds

Cleveland Cavaliers (44-14 SU 28-29-1 ATS) vs. Boston Celtics (36-19 SU 21-33-1 ATS) TD Garden, Boston, MA 8 PM EST Thursday February 25, 2010 on TNT
by Jason Green at

Point Spread: Cleveland -2.5 / Boston +2.5
Over/Under: No total as of 1PM EST

The Boston Celtics have had the Cleveland Cavaliers number in Beantown, as they have won 10 straight at home against LeBron James and company. Speaking of King James he has only averaged 35.3% from the field in those 10 games and as a team the Cavs have only averaged 84.2 ppg. The Cavs finally won their first game with Antawn Jamison (20 ppg) in the lineup, as they had dropped their previous 3.

This season the Celtics are 16-9 at home and the Cavs are 19-10 on the road.

It may be harder for the Celtics to run their home winning streak against Cleveland to 11, as they will likely be without leading scorer Paul Pierce (17.9 ppg). Not only that, but Pierce’s backup Marquis Daniels (6.7 ppg) has the flu and is questionable for the game.

Before the All Star break the Cavs were playing legit defense ranking 1st in opponents FG% 43.4% and 2nd in points allowed (94.2 ppg). However, in 4 games since the break the Cavs have allowed opponents to shoot 50% from the field and average 106 ppg.

Ray Allen (16.6 ppg) has played great after being the subject of trade rumors, but in his last 5 games against Cleveland he is only averaging 11.8 ppg on 35.1% shooting.

The Celtics, especially C Kendrick Perkins (11.1 ppg 8 rpg) and PF Kevin Garnett (14.3 ppg 7.3 rpg), need to hit the boards hard tonight, as the Cavs are a much better team on the glass.

The Celtics beat the New York Knicks 110-106 on Tuesday night in their last game. The high scorer for the game was Ray Allen going for 24 points on 9/14 shooting. For the game the Celtics shot lights out going 44/79 from the floor for a FG% of 55.7%. On defense the Celtics did not play their typical solid defense allowing the Knicks to shoot 42/80 for a FG% of 52.5%.

The Cavs also won on Tuesday night beating the New Orleans Hornets 105-95. The high scorers for Cleveland in the game were Shaq and LeBron James each going for 20 points. For the game the Cavs shot 40/82 for a FG% of 48.8. On D the Cavs allowed the Hornets to shoot 39/78 for a FG% of 50%.

This season the Cavs rank 8th in scoring (101.7 ppg) and the Celtics rank 19th (98.7 ppg). On defense the Celtics rank 1st in points allowed (93.8 ppg) and the Cavs rank 3rd (95 ppg). This season the Cavs have been much better on the boards, as they have a rebounding differential of +3.9 rpg and the Celtics are in the negative at -0.9 rpg.

According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Cavs rank 2nd (96.45) and the Celtics rank 5th (94.40).

Boston is 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games, 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games against teams with a winning road record, and is 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS loss.

Boston has an Under record of 6-2 in their last 8 games, an Under record of 5-0 in their last 5 games against teams with a winning road record, and an Under record of 6-1 in their last 7 games after an ATS loss.

Cleveland is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games, 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 road games against teams with a winning home record, and is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games against teams in the Atlantic Division.

Cleveland has an Over record of 5-2-1 in their last 8 games and has an Under record of 5-2 in their last 7 road games against teams with a home winning percentage of more than 60%.

Even though the Cavs have lost 10 straight in Boston they are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games in Beantown.

On the injury from SF Paul Pierce is day-to-day for Boston and Leon Powe is day-to-day for Cleveland.

Jason’s Pick: Much is being made regarding the doubtful status of Paul Pierce tonight. Boston has beaten Cleveland consistently in Boston and that will continue tonight as this team has character. Expect KG and Ray Allen to step up bigtime tonight and to show their fans that the team doesn’t rely on Pierce to get them into the win column.