Malik Tz | Wed 17/05/2017 - 11:52 EDT

Cavs vs Celtics NBA Playoff Predictions Game 1

Cavs vs Celtics NBA Playoff Predictions Game 1
After a seven-game slugfest with the Wizards, the Boston Celtics earned a spot in the eastern conference finals against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Game one starts on Wednesday, May 17th, with the tip-off taking place in the TD Garden at 8:30 pm EST. The Celtics will need a historically great performance to unseat the King from his eastern conference throne, a spot he's occupied for six consecutive seasons.

Cavs vs Celtics Game 1

My Team's Next MatchCleveland Cavaliers

Boston listed as a number one seed should fool no one – even if the Celtics play perfect basketball this series, they’re still unlikely to win a trip to the NBA finals. This has nothing to do with the quality of Boston’s play, and everything to do with the incredible lineup that the Cleveland Cavaliers have assembled.

LeBron James appears to be playing the best basketball of his career, averaging 34.4 ppg, 9 RPG, and 7.1 apg throughout the playoffs. Kylie Irving started to heat up against the Raptors, utilizing his slick handles to blow past defenders with ease. Uncle Drew helped finished the sweep against the Toronto Raptors by going on an 11-0 run against the North all on his own.

Isaiah Thomas has been the MVP the Celtics needed to take series against the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards. Instead of forcing hero ball during game seven at home, Thomas turned into a distributor, notching 12 assists to lift his team over the Wiz. Al Horford, lured away from the Atlanta Hawks in the offseason, has provided steady shooting and smart play against opposing bigs.

Cavs vs Celtics Money Line

Given the fact that the Cavaliers are at full strength, and the Celtics just completed a gruelling series, the moneylines appear to offer great value for betting on Cleveland. LeBron and the Cavs showed that they’re able to dial up the intensity at will, running Boston off the court shortly before the regular season ended.

Cleveland also destroyed the Toronto Raptors after enjoying a long rest from a first round sweep of the Indiana Pacers. The Cavaliers should be rested, not rusty, prepared to shut down Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics.

Prediction: Cleveland Cavaliers (-144) @Sports Interaction

Cavs vs Celtics Point Spread

A point spread of five is a relatively modest target considering the powerhouse offence and greatly improved defence of the Cavaliers. Only one of their head-to-head matchups during the regular season produced a winning margin below five. 

During eight playoffs games, Cleveland has earned a +11 net rating, more than double the spread. Of these eight post season games, the Cavs have won by five or more six times, making this wager a safe bet. For game one of the eastern conference finals, Cleveland should be able to win by more than two possessions.

Prediction: Cleveland Cavaliers (+191) @Sports Interaction

Cavs vs Celtics Totals

The over/under for the first game of the eastern conference finals sits at 220, which is a lofty total. Part of the reason for this high number would be the strong production of Cleveland and Boston. Combined, these two teams have an offensive rating of 227.8. Each team has the ability to score more than 110 without breaking a sweat.

More importantly, Boston scores at a better pace during home games, with their offensive rating dipping to 104.3 for away games. The Cavaliers have an offensive rating of 114.7 on the road, which is a smaller drop-off compared to Boston. Despite the unusually high total of 220, there’s nothing to indicate that these teams will have a sudden drop in scoring. Betting over is less risky than an under wager.

Prediction: Over (+191) @Sports Interaction

Odds To Win The NBA Eastern Conference

Unless a serious injury impacts LeBron James, the Cavaliers remain heavily favoured to advance past the eastern conference finals. The King has an incredible run of six straight NBA Finals appearances, and a seventh straight eastern conference championship appears to be a foregone conclusion. There isn’t a single NBA expert who believes that Boston has a legitimate chance to win. Only the boldest predict that this series will extend beyond five games. 

Currently, NBA futures show that Boston has a line of +2600 while Cleveland sits at +375 for an NBA Championship win. There isn’t a rival in the east that has pushed LeBron to the breaking point since he moved to Miami. The only competition for the Cavs comes from the western conference, in the form of the Golden State Warriors, who are the favourites to take it all at +125.

Boston has done well to fight through adversity to make it to the conference finals, but they simply don’t have the personnel to compete. Any result other than a seventh straight eastern conference champion win foe LeBron will be a severe shock to the basketball world.

Category : Picks and Parlays

Tag : basketball , boston celtics , cleveland cavaliers , nba , nba playoffs

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