The Boston Celtics were too much for the Washington Wizards on Monday. Will they be the right NBA pick for the Eastern Finals when they face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday?
What can I tell you, folks; the betting market does what it does. We had 'over' 209.5 on the closing line for Monday’s Game 7 between the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards, since they were kind enough to drop the total from 216.5 points when they last played at the Garden. Final score: Boston 115, Washington 105.
Will the same betting patterns pop up in the Eastern Conference Finals? The Celtics will face the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who have been lying in wait since eliminating the Toronto Raptors on May 7. We’ll have to wait until later in the series before we can exploit any drastic swings in the totals, should they arise, but let’s start for now with this basic hypothesis: The Boston Celtics belong in your NBA picks against LeBron James and his publicly adored Cavaliers.
The scientists at FiveThirtyEight are on board. They’ve projected Boston as a 3-point home favorite for Wednesday’s opener (8:30 p.m. ET, TNT), but the Cavaliers have opened as 3-point favorites on the NBA odds board. Obviously, the Cavs are performing at a higher level than their regular-season stats would suggest, but six points? That’s cray-cray.
And that’s how much people love the Cavaliers. They’re willing to pay a considerable premium to bet on King James, and as we get deeper into the playoffs, that public money is going to grow and grow, pushing the odds even further into exploitable territory. There’s a lot of effed-up things going on in the world right now, but these are boom times for sports betting. Let’s enjoy these cottony-soft lines while they last.
Weird that the Warriors get to play the Spurs twice before the Cavaliers get to play the winner of Celtics/Wizards once.. ??— Damon Kecman (@DownWithDamon) May 14, 2017
If you want to make a bet on the total while you’re at it, the classic underdog-'under' parlay could be worth a spin on that ginormous total of 219.5 points. The Cavaliers shot way above their usual 3-point averages in the first two rounds, so unless they’ve got deer antler spray coursing through their veins, the regression monsters will get them in the long run. But we’ll stick with the Celtics ATS for now and see what transpires after Game 1. Don’t be surprised if you can get a better price closer to tip-off, too, because the lines are already moving as we go to press.