Celtics vs. Cavaliers NBA Odds Delayed: Get the Upper-Hand on the Bookies

David Lawrence

Friday, April 10, 2015 11:39 AM GMT

Friday, Apr. 10, 2015 11:39 AM GMT

The Boston Celtics are trying to secure a playoff spot while the Cleveland Cavaliers know exactly where they’ll be seeded in the Eastern Conference playoffs. This matchup on the NBA betting lines is mostly about whether the Cavs are trying or whether they’ll be resting the crew.

The Boston Celtics Can Win Because…
They are going up against a team that just doesn’t need to win. Cleveland cannot catch Atlanta in the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, and the Cavaliers are too far ahead of third-place Toronto to fall to third place. They’re locked in as the number two seed in the East, so the next several days just won’t matter for Cleveland. The Cavaliers can rest players and prepare in earnest for the playoffs. Boston has everything to play for, leading Miami and Indiana by one game (and tied with Brooklyn) for one of the last two playoff spots in the East. Boston will go after this game. Cleveland might, but Boston is assured of playing this game all-out.

Getting past that, a more specific reason Boston might win is that Isaiah Thomas is playing some great ball. He scored 34 points Wednesday night against Detroit, and while that’s impressive enough, what’s even better about that performance from Thomas is that he scored an efficient 34. He needed just 17 shots to get his 34 points. He was 10 of 17 from the field. He hit four of his eight three-pointers, and he made 10 out of 11 free throws. He dished out six assists and committed only two turnovers. If he plays like this against Cleveland, Boston should be right there with a chance to win at the end.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers Can Win Because…
They are the much better team in this matchup. Cleveland has an average point differential of plus-5.1 points per game. Boston has a negative differential of minus-0.6 points per game. The Cavaliers are 29-9 at home, whereas the Celtics are 17-22 on the road. Then there’s the simple matter of talent. Cleveland has LeBron James, while the best player on Boston’s active roster is either Thomas or teammate Avery Bradley. That’s not saying much for the Celtics.

Cleveland will enjoy a specific advantage in this game in that it should be able to get the kinds of shots it wants. The Cavaliers shot just under 49 percent on Wednesday night in their win over the Milwaukee Bucks, a team that has made substantial improvements this season (having won fewer than 20 games last season) by improving its defense. Cleveland got high-quality shots whenever it was able to avoid turning the ball over. Against Boston’s much weaker defense – which is allowing 101.8 points per game this season and allowed Detroit to shoot 53.6 percent from the field on Wednesday night – Cleveland should be able to get great shots on demand. As long as Kyrie Irving (six turnovers against Milwaukee) is not careless with the ball, Cleveland should be in very good shape.

 

Outlook
Handicapping this betting line is all about the Cavs motivation. Check out the wires throughout the day and if the Big Three is playing, consider the Cavs. If not, the Celtics are the clear NBA pick. As of now, I’m not expecting the Big Three to play, so take the Celtics.

NBA Pick: Celtics at The Greek

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