You can pretty much stick a fork in the Boston Celtics – although you can still find some betting value on the C’s for Sunday’s Game 3 with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
I’d say that qualifies as an epic beatdown. The Cleveland Cavaliers found yet another level of awesome Friday night, taking an NBA-record 41-point lead on the Boston Celtics into the dressing room, then extending that lead and winning 130-86. Wait, let me see if they covered... yup, the Cavs were 5-point road faves on the closing line.
We’re not ashamed to admit recommending the Celtics for Game 2. It was the slightest of leans, but after the beating they just took, Sunday’s Game 3 (8:30 p.m. ET, TNT) should have considerably more betting value. The Cavaliers are 15.5-point home faves on the NBA odds board with a total of 219 points. That’s a very large spread indeed. Of course we’ll take it.
Okay, so it looks like Isaiah Thomas was hurt the whole time. He sat out the second half of Friday’s blowout with a strained right hip, and after the game, reports came out that Thomas has been injured since the previous series against the Washington Wizards. There were concerns he wouldn’t be able to suit up in Game 7 of that one. Great, thanks for telling us now.
6'9" freight train from hell barreling down the lane, Isaiah Thomas with the bravest act i have ever seen on a basketball court pic.twitter.com/6ospKV1YGS— LeRob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) May 18, 2017
Thomas was expected to have an MRI on his hip, and there’s no telling at this point whether or not he’ll suit up this Sunday. We’ll put Boston in our NBA picks anyway. The Cavs put on a one-of-a-kind performance in Game 2 – literally. They also shot 19-of-39 (48.7 percent) from downtown, while Boston went 8-of-27 (29.6 percent). Those numbers will probably converge in Game 3.
It’s obviously not ideal if Thomas (+5.5 BPM) can’t play Sunday, but the Celtics have other options, and 15.5 points is a big heaping pile of points. We’re still not going to recommend dumping a big pile of money on the C’s, mind you. LeBron James hasn’t stopped playing at an otherworldly level yet; if anyone can hold off the regression monsters, you’re looking at him. A moderate bet on Boston will suffice, and may the sphere be with you.