Cleveland at Boston NBA Playoffs Betting Lines Game 1

Posted by Aaron . on May 16, 2017 in

The Boston Celtics hold the top seed in the East, and so they get home-court advantage for the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the Cavaliers have only needed eight games to get to this far, with sweeps of the Indiana Pacers and the Toronto Raptors. The Celtics have needed 13 games, as the Chicago Bulls pushed them to six games (including winning the first two) and the Washington Wizards pushed them to a seven-game series. So the Cavaliers are the rested team, while the Celtics come in having had to expend a lot more energy to reach this point.

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Cleveland at Boston NBA Playoffs Betting Lines Game 1

When: Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 8:30pm ET
Where: TD Garden, Boston
Radio: Cleveland / Boston
Live StreamNBA on TNT
NBA Odds: Cavaliers at -4

Why should you bet on the Cavaliers?

If you just look at three-point scoring, the Cavaliers outscored the Raptors 183-81 in the conference semifinals. So even though Toronto had the better players inside, they simply could not overcome that mammoth deficit from downtown. The Cavaliers have surrounded LeBron James with some of the best sharpshooters in all of basketball — Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith, Kevin Love and Channing Frye. Even with the speed that Boston has in their backcourt to switch over and challenge shooters, that’s a huge task to ask. Cleveland could simply dominate this game by draining their shots from range and letting Isaiah Thomas keep slashing to the rim, trading threes for twos.

Why should you put your money on the Celtics?

Al Horford has been on fire in this postseason. In the series against Washington, he shot 67.6 percent from the floor — and 60.9 percent from downtown, numbers that Bill Laimbeer can only dream of. By moving outside, he stretches that Cleveland defense — but that also cuts down on the number of offensive boards the Celtics will get. If Isaiah Thomas starts carving up that Cavalier defense with the pick-and- roll, and Cleveland has to send a lot of help to cover, that frees up opportunities for Horford to score — as well as Marcus Smart and the rest of the Celtic offense.

Betting Pick and Final Score Prediction

I think the Celtics will push the Cavaliers hard in this series. In the opener, the Cavaliers are likely to show just enough rust to let Boston get out to a big start. I see the Celtics holding on for a 112-108 win.