Gary | Tue 16/05/2017 - 23:55 EDT

Boston Celtics Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Preview

Boston Celtics Vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Preview

By Dan Favale

All odds are brought to you by Topbet

Boston Celtics (+375) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (-550)

This Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers is the one everyone wanted.

Or rather, it's the one everyone should have wanted.

Though some believed the Toronto Raptors, who have since been swept by the Cavaliers, and Washington Wizards posed more realistic threats to Cleveland's reign, it's Boston that has always been the team most capable of giving the reigning champ a run for its money.

Yes, the Celtics lost the regular-season series to the Cavaliers 3-1. They were absolutely steamrolled in the final meeting on April 5. Cleveland torched them by 23 points. It doesn't help either that LeBron James and crew enter with the postseason's best offensive rating and fourth-best defensive rating. The question about the Cavaliers was always whether they would play enough defense to scrap by. A balanced version of them is extremely terrifying—especially because even the offensive-first iteration of the Cavaliers stood to blitz through the rest of the East.

Still, there are two things that can, and will, make this series closer than anticipated.

First up: The Celtics' three-point shooting. They are jacking a ton of threes—almost as many as the Houston Rockets did per 100 possessions.

Volume from beyond the arc alone is the best way to beat the Cavaliers. They launch gobs of threes themselves; they're third in three-pointers attempted per 100 possessions for the playoffs, just behind Boston. Even so, those shots account for variance. If the Celtics get hot, they will win games. If they shoot at an average or above-average clip, they'll put themselves in position to win tightly contested competitions down the stretch. 


It's definitely concerning that, despite firing more threes per 100 possessions than the Cavaliers, the Celtics don't make as many. But their sample size is larger, and they proved they could outgun the Wizards from long range. They outscored Washington by 105 points from deep over the course of their seven-game series. They went through dry spells and hot streaks. There were peaks and valleys. That always happens when you live and die by the three. But the Celtics have no other choice, as, again, this is their best and only opportunity to battle the Cavaliers' offense.

Second, and equally important, the Celtics can throw more defensive looks at LeBron James than anyone. Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley all figure to see time on him. If they want, the Celtics could try covering LeBron one-on-one while attempting to lock down everyone else. What this essentially does is let him eat, while banking on your ability to stymie the other four players on the court. It's not a perfect approach, but trying to beat LeBron is better than trying to upset LeBron-plus-friends.

None of this, unfortunately, changes what feels inevitable. The Celtics' ceiling in this series is six games. They should be able to secure two victories due to exceptional depth and untapped defensive versatility. But the Cavaliers are a well-oiled, fully functioning, wholly engaged playoff machine.

They're not a squad that looks primed to fall to a Celtics team still missing one starry piece.

The Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers in six games (-550)

Results / FixturesNBA

Category : Betting Picks

Tag : 2017 NBA Playoffs , boston celtics , cleveland cavaliers , eastern conference finals , nba

More articles...
Betting Picks - 17/01/20
NFL Conference Finals 2020: Chiefs Look To End Title Drought 

It's been a half century since the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl. In fact, it's been 50 years since the Chiefs went to the Super Bowl. But Kansas City is favored to get there this year. The Chiefs go into the AFC Championship Game as 7.5-point favorites over the Tennessee Titans. Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers are seven-point favorites over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game.

Betting Picks - 17/01/20
Conor McGregor vs Donald Cerrone: The Notorious Returns To The Octagon 

Conor McGregor is poised to make his return to the octagon and to UFC. The former lightweight world champion is slated to fight Donald Cerrone in a welterweight bout as part of UFC 246 on Jan. 18 in Las Vegas. The Irish fighter hasn't been in a bout since he lost via submission to UFC lightweight (155 pound) champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Cerrone, normally a lightweight, lost his last two fights.

Betting Picks - 07/01/20
National Championship 2020: A Clash Of The Tigers 

It's a certainty that the Tigers will again be the national champions of college football this season. That's because the No. 1-ranked 14-0 LSU Tigers are pitted against the third-ranked Clemson Tigers (14-0), in this years College Football Playoff title game. Clemson are the defending national champions and are playing in the national championship game for the fourth time in five years. Clemson won two of the last three titles.

Betting Picks - 16/12/19
NCAAF Bowl Game Odds: Will Crimson Tide See Red? 

While the College Football Playoff draws much of the attention in NCAA bowl season, there are still plenty of intriguing bowl game matchups over the holiday season that offer some value bets to be played. Showdowns such as the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl still carry a wealth of tradition and to win one of these famous games is a point of pride to the participating schools.