Free NBA Picks: Celtics Maturing Into Good Bet Against Cavs Tonight

Darin Zank

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 4:49 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 4:49 PM UTC

Boston is 6-0-1 against the NBA odds its last seven times out, and might not even need the points when it hosts the King and his Cavs Tuesday night.

NBA MoneyLine Pick: Boston Celtics
Best Line Offered: +102 at 5Dimes

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NBA Over/Under Pick: Cavaliers & Celtics OVER
Best Line Offered: 202 (-105) at Bovada

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Cavs-Celtics: The Odds
Most of Tuesday's NBA odds market opened this game with Cleveland favored by two points, the total offered at 201. In the early betting some books bumped the Cavs to -2.5, and the total to 202.


The Match-Up
Cleveland (15-7 SU, 8-14 ATS) has won two games in a row, after bombing the Magic in Orlando last Friday 111-76. The Cavs scored the first five points of the game and never looked back, pushing a 16-point halftime lead to 40 in the second half, breezing to an easy cover as three-point road favorites.

On the night Cleveland shot 57 percent from the floor, hit 11 of 21 shots from beyond the arc, held the Magic to just 39 percent shooting and won the battle on the glass by a 53-37 margin.

Last Tuesday the Cavs beat Portland 105-100 but lost ATS at -9.

Boston (14-10 SU, 14-9-1 ATS) showed some maturity by bouncing back from that double-overtime loss to Golden State last Friday by winning at Charlotte Saturday 98-93. That game was close throughout, but it was the Celtics who made the plays down the stretch for the outright victory as three-point road dogs.

For the night Boston shot just 42 percent from the floor, but held the Hornets to 41 percent shooting, and committed just five turnovers.

Just before that the Celtics lost at home to the then still-unbeaten Warriors 124-119 in two extra periods. Still, since a 1-3 start to this season Boston is 13-7 over its last 20 games.


Cavs-Celts Recent History
This is the first meeting this season between these two teams. Last season these teams split four games during the regular season, but Cleveland then swept Boston out of the playoffs in the first round in four games. The Cavs won those four playoff contests by an average score of 104-95, covering three games as favorites of 11, five and seven points.

Also, three of those four playoff meetings played UNDER.

It should be pointed out, though, that Cleveland G Kyrie Irving averaged 23 PPG during that playoff series, but he hasn't played yet this season, as he recovers from a knee injury.


Cavs-Celtics Totals Trends
Cleveland is 12-10 on the OVERS this season, as Cavs games have averaged 199 points.

Boston is 13-11 on the UNDERS, even as Celtics games have averaged 203 points.


Final Analysis
Cleveland shoots the ball better than Boston, and does a better job on the boards, but the Celtics are a little better on defense and better from the FT line. Also, the Cavs are just 6-13 ATS this season when giving points, while Boston is 6-2 when getting points. We like the Celtics for our free NBA picks for Tuesday, and we'll take 'em for the win.

As far as the total goes, six of the last seven meetings in this series have played UNDER, and we'll ride that trend.

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