NBA Picks: Celtics vs. Cavaliers

Jordan Sharp

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 12:42 PM GMT

With only four games scheduled for tonight, the pickings are slim. However, it does look like the matchup between the Celtics and the Cavaliers is offering up some great NBA betting value. Where are we looking?

On a light Tuesday in the NBA, the Celtics head into Cleveland to tip it off with the Cavs. The NBA Odds do favor the road Celtics, but only by -4, with a total of 191. With not a lot of choices tonight when it comes to the amount of games, we need to be extra cautious with our NBA Picks. Let’s see if there is value in this line as it currently sits.

Celtics dropping back down

After an impressive six game winning streak, the Celtics have reverted back to their early season ways, as they have now lost three games in a row. Boston will have to try and right the ship this evening against a Cavs team that has been awful ATS at home. However, Boston has been awful ATS on the road as well, as the Celtics are 6-11-2 ATS on the road this season, and a depressing 15-22-3 ATS overall.

Boston is going to have to gain some consistency, or this could be the final run for their veterans. The Celtics are almost the league’s worst rebounding team, and even though their defense has been getting better and better, their offense has hit a wall. In their last three losses, the C’s have averaged scoring under 85 points in all three games in regulation. They also gave up over 100 points to the Pistons on Sunday, and that is as ugly as it gets.

Cavs can’t catch a break

Even though the emergence of Tristan Thompson has been huge for the Cavs this season, the news from Anderson Varejao’s camp is not good. The Brazilian big man is out for the remainder of the season with a blood clot in his lung, this coming as salt in an open wound as he was already out with an injury.

Without him, the Cavs have been really bad on defense this season, and seemingly getting worse. Cleveland is giving up 100 points per game on the season, and they have given up over 100 points in eight of their last 12 games.

Cleveland had a couple of nice days off coming into this game, and they needed it. Cleveland just got back from a long five game road trip out west where they went 1-4 SU, and the rest might do this team some good. I think they will be able to score against Boston tonight despite the C’s good defense. Kyrie Irving is a tough cover for Rajon Rondo, and the Cavs have been getting some good production from other guys like the rookies Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller.

[gameodds]5/134661/43/us[/gameodds]

The Sharp Pick

Despite Boston winning three in a row against the Cavs, Cleveland has covered in three of their last four meetings with the Celtics. In two games last season when the Cavs were playing Boston in Cleveland, the spread was right around where it is today, and in both games the Cavs lost by three points. Will the trend continue, or are we better suited to place our sports picks on the total?

With Cleveland’s defensive shortcomings and Boston’s ability to score, I’m siding with the over in this game. Boston has been struggling lately, but I think they will overcome against a bad Cavs team. Cleveland should be able to cause enough havoc to get around 90 points, and as long as both teams give up their average points against, the total will go over.

My NBA Pick: OVER 191