NBA Playoffs: Cavaliers vs Celtics Betting Lines

No Road is Easy, But Boston Shouldn't Have Much Trouble!

Only two days after beating the Orlando Magic in Game 7 to escape from a hard-fought first-round series, the Cleveland Cavaliers head to Boston to take on the Celtics in a series that Joe Mazzulla’s team is heavily favored on the Cavaliers vs Celtics betting lines.

The Celtics have been able to rest for a while since taking down the Heat in five games so they’re -650 on the moneyline for Tuesday’s Game 1 and are favored by 11.5 points on the spread. They’re a massive -2000 favorite to win the series (with Cleveland at +1100).

It’s no wonder why Vegas loves Boston’s chances to make the Eastern Conference Finals for the third-straight season and the fourth time in the last five seasons.

The Celtics were by far the best team in the NBA during the regular season and easily dispatched their playoff rival Miami even without having Kristaps Porzingis (calf) for part of Game 4 and all of Game 5. The NBA box scores from that series were lopsided as the Celtics outscored the Heat by 78 points.

Cleveland won every home game and lost every road game against Orlando and looked like a completely different team from night to night.

The Cavaliers only scored 100+ points twice in that series but, fortunately for them, those big scoring outputs came in Games 5 and 7. Donovan Mitchell — who scored 50 points in a losing Game 6 effort and then 39 points — really put Cleveland on his back down the stretch because he didn’t get much help from the Cavaliers’ supporting cast.

Cavaliers logo Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics Celtics logo

Location: TD Garden; Boston, Massachusetts
Day/Time:
Streaming: TNT

Celtics Can Withstand Porzingis’ Absence

A major storyline for this series will be how each team handles the injuries to their respective big men. As noted above, Porzingis suffered a pretty severe calf injury in Game 4 and it doesn’t look like he’ll be able to come back for this series. For the Cavaliers, Jarrett Allen originally suffered a rib bruise in Game 1 and got hit in the ribs again in Game 4, making the injury worse.

While he was classified as day-to-day for the rest of that series, it was reported that he was in “excruciating” pain before Game 7 so it doesn’t seem likely he’ll be able to be much of a factor against Boston.

Not having Allen is a much bigger blow to the Cavaliers than not having Porzingis is to the Celtics so it seems like the Cavaliers vs Celtics betting lines certainly expect Boston to take advantage of Allen’s absence. He’s an elite rim protector who was a monster on the boards against Orlando and averaged 17 points per game in the four games he played as well.

It’s not like Boston won’t miss Porzingis at all but without Allen in the middle, they’ll be able to attack the rim easier. Look for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to relentlessly attack the basket.

Also, the free space to penetrate will make kickouts for three-pointers to the Celtics’ many shooters that much more effective. Cleveland is a defense-first team and the Cavaliers’ defense revolves around Allen. So, his injury could make Game 1 one of the most one-sided NBA playoff games today.

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Cleveland’s Lack Of Depth Is A Problem

Simply put, the Cavaliers can’t skate by the Celtics like they did the Magic by only being able to rely on Mitchell for scoring.

Cleveland did get solid performances from Caris LeVert and Max Strus in Game 7 but the only consistent player J.B. Bickerstaff had all series was Mitchell and even he really struggled in some of the road games.

Against Boston, the Cavaliers will need multiple non-Mitchell scorers — Darius Garland has been wildly up-and-down so far in the playoffs — to contribute so Cleveland can keep up with Boston’s high point totals.

Boston can get scoring from a bunch of different sources, while Tatum and Brown do the lion’s share of the work,

Jrue Holiday is an experienced playoff performer, Derrick White has transformed himself from role player to major scoring threat and Al Horford is a wily veteran who spaces the floor well and is a great passer.

Not to mention Sam Hauser’s microwave shooting ability. As the Cavaliers vs Celtics betting lines reflect, the Celtics can hurt you in multiple ways.

Look for Boston To Have A Gentleman’s Sweep

While Mitchell probably is good enough to carry the Cavaliers to one or two wins this series, Allen being on the NBA injury list and the unreliability of Mitchell’s supporting cast makes it difficult to imagine Cleveland getting more than one game — maybe Game 3 at home.

Granted, crazy things have happened and the Celtics’ reliance on three-pointers makes them vulnerable to random offensive outages, like in Game 2 against the Heat.

However, they’re double-digit favorites in Game 1 — and massive series favorites — for a reason!

This is a very disciplined and well-rounded team that has been able to rest for six days while Cleveland has had only around 48 hours to rest and prepare for a 64-win foe. That, coupled with not having their defensive anchor, makes the task a tall one for the Cavaliers.

Also, the point total is a relatively low 208.5 points, owing to Cleveland’s difficulties scoring in the first round. Boston isn’t the defensive team that Orlando is, however, so at least Game 1 should be a lot more free-flowing. Go with the over at -110.

Cavaliers vs Celtics Odds

For NBA playoffs odds, betting analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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