Before locking in your NBA pick for tonight's game between the Celtics and Cavaliers, keep in mind that double digit road underdogs in these NBA Playoffs are now 3-1 ATS (75%).
Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (-11) 7:00 ET TNT TV
The Celtics and Cavaliers meet in Cleveland, Ohio for the 2nd game in this Round 1, best of 7 series. Cleveland took the opener (113-100), covering the 12 point line when Boston’s Isaiah Thomas missed a driving layup just prior to the final buzzer. As you will see, there is strong precedence for ATS betting trends to continue in this game.
If the Celtics are to make these big points work, they will have to do better than the 34 rebounds they snagged in Game 1. That was the lowest number of rebounds of any playoff team in the first game of their series, resulting in a -12 net rebound margin for the game. Good news is that 6 Boston Celtics scored in double figures in that contest, led by Isaiah Thomas, who scored 22 points, added 5 rebounds and dished out 10 assists. Remember that in the regular season, these two teams split their 4-game series with Cleveland recording one of their victories by a narrow 122-121 margin. Clearly, Boston is one of the surprise teams in the NBA. After winning just 25 games last year and projected to do roughly the same this season, the Celtics enter tonightwith an overachieving 40-43 SU record. A mid-season makeover, featuring young, energetic players with great upside, has melded with the coaching of Brad Stevens for a post-break record of 20-12 SU. That has shown up in the money column in their role tonight, as the Celtics are 22-10 ATS as road dog on the season.
Cleveland is clearly the superior team in this series. In Game 1, their big 3 combined for 69 points with Irving scoring 30, James knocking in 20 and Love contributing 19 points with 12 boards. Motivated by a 117-78 loss to Boston in the closing week of the season, the Cavs showed who was boss in Game 1 action! Tonight, however, the “zig-zag” effect should be a money maker. There will be a bit of complacency on the part of Cleveland, while a prideful, young Boston team will show their “never say die” attitude at this big number.
This has been an especially profitable NBA picks situation for big dogs in recent playoff history. Taking double digits has resulted in an over 65% pointspread proposition, if our big dog is off a straight up and spread loss in the previous game. This has been even more effective in Round 1, Game 2, where the winning percentage approaches 80%. Side with the Celtics as big NBA odds underdog in a near perfect situation!
Free NBA Picks: Boston Celtics +11 at Pinnacle