And they meet again. A year after facing off in the 2017 Eastern Conference finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics meet again in the same round this year –only with a lot of different pieces. Who will draw first blood this coming Sunday? It’s almost too close to call at the sportsbook, with the Celtics being given just a 1-point edge (at press) over the Cavs.
Betting Preview for Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 on May 13, 2018
Where: TD Garden, Boston
When: Sunday, May 13, 3:30 PM EST
TV Broadcast: TNT
Betting on the Cleveland Cavaliers (+1)
LeBron James has been here many times before. We’re talking about the conference finals, where the four-time MVP has reached in each of the last eight seasons including this one. At 33, the Cavs superstar hasn’t slowed down a lot and he’s expected to be at the center of everything Cleveland will do against Boston. So far in these playoffs, James is averaging 34.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, 9.0 assists, while also shooting 55.3 percent from the field. It’s also a good sign for the Cavs that other non-LeBron Cleveland players have stepped up of late. Kevin Love for one has found his groove back in the Toronto series wherein he averaged 20.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in four games. Apart from James and Love, four other Cavs averaged double-digit figures in the second round. Up against the tough defense of Boston, the Cavs are going to need to get The King as much help as possible.
The Cavs went 2-1 SU in the regular season against Boston.
Betting on the Boston Celtics (-1)
The Celtics weren’t supposed to go this far without Kyrie Irving, but you know, Brad Stevens is a genius. Now that the Celtics have shown they are capable of winning a playoff series or two without Irving, they will now turn their attention into showing why they can beat LeBron James even though they are not at 100 percent full strength. Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier, and Al Horford have become Boston’s Big Three in the postseason. Tatum leads the team in the playoffs with 18.8 points, while Rozier makes 18.2 and Horford 17.0. Boston’s defense that allowed just 100.4 points in the regular season will be heavily tested by the Cavs, LeBron James in particular. Unlike in the Sixers series, Stevens won’t have to worry about making his team guard a big man like Embiid as the Cavs simply don’t have someone like him. Expect Boston to devise a way to slow down James, but also look for them to exploit Cleveland’s lack of a rim protector. Boston averages 42.3 points in the pain in the playoffs.
There Celtics are 8-0 SU and ATS in their last eight home games.
Boston wins, 104-102.
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