It's looking like the Cavs will have Irving back on the court for tonight's game against the Celtics. Cavaliers are unsurprisingly the heavy favorites on NBA odds, but will they cover the big number?
The Cavaliers are favored in the 11 to 12-point range on the NBA odds board right now, but keep checking back with SBR's NBA odds to see if there will be any more movement. You'll want to get the best available number, which is why using multiple sportsbooks can really be beneficial in your handicapping endeavors.
We should be seeing one of the highest-scoring games of the night here, with the O/U all the way up at either 208.5 or 209. It's the highest total out there for Tuesday's seven-game slate.
After a great stretch of games, the Cavaliers have hit a little bit of a snag here over the past week or so, losing consecutive games. They lost by seven at Indiana and then fell just short in overtime against James Harden and the Rockets over the weekend. Cleveland is 37-24 overall as a result.
It was an awesome battle between Harden and LeBron James on Sunday. Without Kyrie Irving on the court, LeBron had to take over even more offensive responsbility and he responded brilliant, dropping 37 points on 15-of-35 shooting while also chipping in eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks. Kevin Love had a nice game with a 21/6/3 line, but it was the King James show throughout, though ultimately the Cavs were unable to get the job done late. LeBron missed two huge free throws late that would have given Cleveland the lead.
The good news is the Cavs are set to get Irving back after a brief absence, which means they should be back to full strength at home against the Celtics. This sets up nicely as a bounce-back situation for Cleveland.
Don't look now, but the Celtics have been actually been performing at a much higher level latey. They've won three of their last four (beating the Suns, Knicks and Hornets) and are 7-4 over their last 11 games overall, which has improved their overall record to 23-34 overall. That's still not a great mark by any means, yet Boston still finds themselves just a game and a half back of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
We last saw the Celtics in action Sunday in a 106-101 home loss to Golden State. Boston was up by as many as 26 points at one point, but Stephen Curry went on a serious heater and brought the Warriors all the way back and led them to the win, breaking the Celtics' hearts in the process. Six different members of Boston's team scored in double figures, with Isaiah Thomas pouring in 20 points off the bench. Brandon Bass had a double double, Evan Turner flirted with a triple double, and Jae Crowder pulled down 17 boards in the loss.
Now the Celtics head back on the road, where they've gone just 9-18 this season. That doesn't bode well, with Cleveland itching to get back in the win column.
We're going to be switching gears a little bit and recommending a total play. Our initial instincts in terms of an ATS pick is to back the Cavaliers, as they'll be eager to feel that winning feeling again after two straight losses. They have Irving back and will also have the advantage of being at home, so things are definitely aligning in the right way.
However, that's just a little too many points for our liking, especially since the Celtics don't often get blown out. They haven't been all that successful this season, but they tend to stay competitive, particularly when you least expect it.
So, with our NBA Picks, let's roll with the OVER in what should be an up-tempo game from the start. Boston has been playing at one of the league's highest paces this season, and Cleveland has been one of the most efficient offensive teams out there. We think the OVER hits here.
Free NBA Pick: OVER 208.5