NBA Preview and Tips: Cleveland Cavaliers Boston Celtics

For the second time in the past week, the Cleveland Cavaliers (40-26) host the Boston Celtics (45-20) at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse for the fourth time in the Eastern Conference.

Mar 6, 2023 - 21:03
Mar 6, 2023 - 21:10
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NBA Preview and Tips: Cleveland Cavaliers Boston Celtics
NBA Preview and Tips: Cleveland Cavaliers Boston Celtics

NBA Preview and Tips: Cleveland Cavaliers Boston Celtics


For the second time in the past week, the Cleveland Cavaliers (40-26) host the Boston Celtics (45-20) at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse for the fourth time in the Eastern Conference.

The first meeting ended 117-113 to Boston, but the scoreline wasn't as close as the scoreline suggested after a big third quarter saw the Celtics open a 20-point lead and still lead by 13 with two minutes left.

Frustratingly from a betting perspective, Cleveland was allowed to cover as a +5.5 underdog at the death back door, which can happen in the NBA. But Boston held on to win the game, and it always seemed possible, as they played with double revenge on their minds after their two early season losses to Cleveland.

Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, and Robert Williams III all recorded double-doubles for the Celtics with a dominant effort to rebound the basketball, while it was a solo effort for the Cavaliers' Donovan Mitchell who dropped 44 points in 44 minutes.

Since then, Williams has been sidelined with a long-term injury, while Mitchell was forced off the court with an injury against Detroit. He is currently doubtful and may be given time to rest.

With the spread set at Cleveland -6.5 and a total of 219.5 at Planet Sports Bet, we should be in for another impressive game.
Breaking this contest, Boston is now 1-5 ATS, and they have lost back-to-back games since beating Cleveland. The Cavaliers have only played once, beating Detroit at home, and so have had plenty of time to rest and practice.

Despite the loss in Boston, Cleveland is on a 9-4 ATS run, winning nine of their last 13 straight games, and they've also been dominant at home, where they have a 27-7 record. It is clear that their home-court advantage and current form give them the edge.

But winning the game and covering the spread are two different things. The Celtics lost 131-129 to the Knicks last time out, and they'll be looking to respond here. Interestingly, the Celtics are a perfect 9-0ATS behind giving up 125+ points. The spread is very large and you can make a case for another close game. Boston +6.5 looks like a good bet.

The Celtics' defense allowed 112 ppg on their road trip, while the Cavs allowed an average of 104 ppg to visit teams. It is also important to note that this is the fourth meeting between these two sides, and familiarity could be a low-scoring game.

The total was just 217 in the first meeting between the two sides. After a 250+ point contest, it was pushed to 220 and didn't come back after a pair of 225+ point contests. But given the circumstances of this game, this seems like a good time to pre-empt the drop-off.

Despite the high-scoring games we've seen recently, the Cavaliers have gone seven of 10 after winning their previous game by double digits. If this game plays out the way we expect it to, you should also consider under 219.5

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