Do or Die for Cleveland! Betting Odds and Preview for Cavaliers vs Celtics

Do or Die for Cleveland! Betting Odds and Preview for Cavaliers vs Celtics

The Boston Celtics have been much better on the road in these playoffs than at home and are solid favorites again on Monday in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series in Cleveland as Cavs starters Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen are both questionable.

After losing Game 2 at home in a stunner, the Celtics bounced back with a 106-93 in Game 3 on Saturday as the series shifted to Cleveland to take a 2-1 lead.

Expert Pick Celtics -8.5 (total 207)
What´s the Score? Celtics 112, Cavs 104
 

Boston Celtics Betting Pick -250

Jayson Tatum was great with 33 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in 42 minutes. Tatum entered averaging 21.7 points and 10.0 boards in this season’s playoffs, but he came through with new season highs in points and boards. Tatum hadn’t logged a 30-point effort since March 28.

Opposing teams had been loading up on him defensively of late, forcing him to impact the game in other ways. Tatum is the only Celtic to have multiple playoff games with a 33/13/6 stat line, which he also did on 5/19/2023 vs. Miami and has been achieved two other times in franchise history by Larry Bird (4/25/1985) and John Havlicek (4/27/1969).

“He’s a really great player that gets taken advantage of because he’s been really good for a long time,” said head coach Joe Mazzulla. “We really appreciate him. I thought he played a great game on both ends of the floor.”

Jaylen Brown was also excellent with 28 on 13-of-17 shooting , adding nine boards and three assists. He and Tatum have now scored at least 25 points in a playoff game 14 times, trailing only Larry Bird and Kevin McHale (17 such games) for most in Celtics history.

“I think we just need everybody to be on the same page and everybody to come out with the right effort,” Brown said. “That’s 85% of the battle right there. We come out, we play hard, and then we’re on the same page and the rest will take care of itself. We got enough talent in the locker room to beat teams.”

Jrue Holiday had his best game of the series with 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Holiday averaged 12.5 points per game in the regular season (fewest since his rookie campaign), and he scored in single figures in four of seven in the playoffs leading up to Saturday’s Game 3 victory. The 18 points are his most through eight games in this season’s playoffs.

Holiday made his 500th career postseason field goal at the 9:39 mark of the second quarter and Brown grabbed his 500th career postseason defensive rebound at the 11:14 mark of the first. The Celtics have won 70 games (regular + postseason) for the 10th time in franchise history. Through 90 games this year, Boston owns an +11.36 scoring margin, the fourth-best scoring differential in NBA history (including playoffs), trailing Milwaukee in 1971 (12.58), Chicago in 1996 (11.94), and Golden State in 2017 (11.96).

Over the past three seasons, Boston is 14-14 in 28 home playoff games, the most played over a three-year span without posting a winning record in NBA history. However, in those three seasons, the Celtics reached the NBA Finals in 2022 and the conference finals last season, and they are favored to make a deep playoff run this year largely because they have gone 17-7 on the road.

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Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Pick +200

Donovan Mitchell scored 33 points for Cleveland in Saturday’s 106-93 loss to the Celtics and was 6-for-8 from deep, but the All-Star guard aggravated a left knee injury in the fourth quarter and was labored. With Boston up 13 and in control, Mitchell left the court with 1:19 left and walked directly to the locker room. He’s questionable for Monday – it’s being called a strained left calf now — but I expect him to play.

Mitchell on Saturday became just the third player in Cavs playoff history with at least six three-pointers in a half (Kevin Love, JR Smith). Mitchell has recorded at least 25 points in six straight playoff games, joining LeBron James as the only players in Cavs history with at least six straight playoff games with at least that many.

If Mitchell can’t go Monday, Caris LeVert would likely enter the first unit, while Isaac Okoro and Sam Merrill could see more minutes off the bench. Mitchell ranks 6th in playoff ppg (28.0) in NBA history for players who’ve played a minimum of 50 games. Center Jarrett Allen has yet to play in this series due to a ribs injury suffered in the last round vs. Orlando and is also questionable.

LeVert had 15 points and six rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench in Game 3. He has scored at least 15 points in 3 of his last 4 games, and he has recorded at least six boards in three straight. Over his last 11 games against the Celtics since March 3, 2020, LeVert is averaging 19.1 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.0 APG and 1.27 SPG in 32.1 MPG.

Darius Garland had 15 points and six assists in the loss. It was his fourth game in these playoffs scoring at least 15. In his last 10 games against the Celtics (regular season and postseason) since 2021, Garland is averaging 20.7 PPG, 7.5 APG, 3.3 RPG and 1.80 SPG in 38.4 MPG. He has scored at least 10 points in 9 of the 10 games so far this postseason.

Max Strus totaled just six points with five boards in 37 minutes in the loss. Strus continues to struggle, scoring fewer than 15 points for the eighth time in the past nine games, all during the playoffs. If the Cavaliers have any chance of beating the Celtics, they are going to need Strus to rediscover his form from earlier in the season. Dean Wade finished Saturday’s loss with five points, three boards and three assists in 17 minutes. He played for the first time since March 8 after needing two months to heal up from a sprained knee.

The Cavs recorded just 8 turnovers in Game 3, marking the second time this postseason they have finished with 8 or fewer turnovers. They had 8 or fewer turnovers just three times during the regular season. Cleveland is 4-1 at home so far in this postseason and have won 8 of their last 10 home games since March 25. The Cavs are 25-24 (16-7 at home, 9-17 on the road) all-time in postseason games against the Celtics.

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Celtics at Cavaliers Info

When: Monday, 7 PM ET
Where: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
TV: TNT
Stream: TNT app
Radio: Tunein.com

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Cavaliers vs Celtics Game 1 East
 

It’s a chalk Eastern Conference semifinal series on Tuesday night as the fourth-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers visit the No. 1 Boston Celtics, who are double-digit favorites on the NBA odds for Game 1 despite being without All-Star big man Kristaps Porzingis.

Meanwhile, in the other Eastern Semifinal, the Knicks lead the series 1-0 against the Pacers.

Expert Pick Celtics -11 (total 209)
What´s the Score? Celtics 111, Cavaliers 106
 

Cleveland Cavaliers Odds +212

Cleveland played the final three games of its first-round series against Orlando without excellent center Jarrett Allen but managed to rally from down 18 points in Game 7 at home Sunday and beat the Magic 106-94. Cleveland’s comeback was the largest in a Game 7 since the league began tracking play-by-play in 1997-98.

The Cavs got off to a slow start on Sunday – shooting 27 percent in the opening period and just 35 percent by halftime as Orlando took a 10-point lead, 53-43, into the locker room. But the Cavs, who’d closed the first half on a 12-3 run, began cutting into the Magic’s lead immediately after intermission – and at the 3:39 mark of the third quarter tied the affair at 64-apiece on Donovan Mitchell’s 20-footer. By the end of the period, the Cavs improved their lead to eight points – and never looked back. The Cavaliers have now won four straight Game 7s since 2018 and are now 6-2 all-time as a franchise in Game 7.

“I think the way we ended the second quarter, to be able to cut the lead and get it down to 10, that’s always a comfortable number that you feel like in 24 minutes, if you’re playing the way that we’re capable of playing, you can chip away,” Coach JB Bickerstaff said. “And you wanted to come out in that third quarter with a spirit. And I think you looked at Max making shots, Don making plays. There was just a bunch of different guys that made plays that gave us hope, and we’ve got the ultimate belief in that in a group that they can overcome a ton.”

Mitchell followed his 50-point Game 6 with 39 on Sunday along with nine rebounds and five assists. Mitchell had some ups and downs in the series, but he often stepped his game up when the Cavaliers needed him, something that will be even more noticeable against the Celtics. Mitchell averaged 28.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game in the first round while putting up at least 28 points in each of the last three contests.

Evan Mobley had 11 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks Sunday – he has been playing center instead of power forward with Allen out due to a ribs injury. While Mobley struggled with turnovers in Sunday’s Game 7, committing six, he was excellent as a rebounder and defender. He rejected five shots, moving his total to 12 in the series’ final three games. Allen is questionable for Tuesday.

Max Strus had 13 points and three boards. After scoring seven points or less in the series’ first four games, Strus hit double figures in the final three. He was critical during the second half of Game 7, scoring 11 of his 13 points to (along with Darius Garland) give Donovan Mitchell the offensive assistance Cleveland’s star guard desperately needed. Garland had a rough Sunday overall, shooting 3-of-13 from the field and finishing with 12 points and three rebounds.

Sunday marked Cleveland’s first playoff series victory since defeating Boston in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2018 and first playoff series win over the Magic in team history. It marked the 4th time in franchise history that the Cavs won all 4 home games of a 7-game series to advance to the next round (first time since 2018 vs. Indiana).

This will mark the eighth all-time playoff series between the Cavs and Celtics.


 

Boston Celtics Odds -270

Boston has been off since finishing off short-handed Miami in Game 5 on May 1, 118-84. All four Celtics wins in the series were by double digits – still not sure how they even lost Game 2. It marked the fourth meeting between these teams in the last five postseasons, and they’ve taken turns alternating series wins. Outside of the lone loss, the Celtics trailed for only 56 seconds in the other four games combined.

“We’ve been doing this all year,” said Derrick White. “We’ve had games where it might seem like it was a big loss, but we just bounce back, regroup, and everybody’s just been on the same page all season. It’s the playoffs; there’s going to be ups, there’s going to be downs. That’s what makes it amazing. That’s what makes it fun. And so we’ve got to be ready to not get too high on those wins and not get too low on losses, and just keep improving.”

Jayson Tatum had 16 points and 12 rebounds in the clinching game. He was active on both ends of the court in the series against the Heat, recording four double-doubles in five games while also reaching the 20-point plateau four times. He averaged 21.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game against the Heat. Jaylen Brown had 25 points and six boards in Game 5, his third game with at least 20 in the series. White had 25 points and five boards.

Starting center Kristaps Porzingis sustained a calf injury in Game 4 of Boston’s first-round series and was unavailable for Game 5. He’s been diagnosed with a right soleus strain and is now expected to miss most if not all of the second-round vs. Cleveland. Porzingis went through a similar rehab process earlier in the season. He strained his left calf during a November matchup with the Orlando Magic and missed the following four games over two weeks. However, he says this strain is a bit more serious than the first one.

Al Horford would start. For a 17-year vet who has started more than 1,200 games in his regular season and playoff career, there couldn’t be a much better option than Horford, and a situation such as this is exactly what his sixth-man role calls for. The one silver lining of Porzingis’ absence is that it should force the Celtics to increase their ball movement and push the pace instead of letting Porzingis go 1-on-1 in the post.

“I think that from experience over the years, you would like for everything to go super smooth, but that’s not always the case,” Horford said. “My preparation just doesn’t change. Every day, I feel like I’m very consistent in my approach, in the things that I need to do, and I just think now that maybe more will be asked of me. But I’m still going about it the same way, so I don’t think there’s anything that I really need to alter or do. We’ve been very consistent with our work all season and I feel like it’s not going to be any different now.”

All three of Boston’s matchups with the Cavs were decided by fewer than 10 points, suggesting this could be a much more tightly-contested series than Round 1, where the Celtics led by as many as 27 points in all four of their victories over Miami.


 

Cavaliers at Celtics Info

When: Tuesday, 7 PM ET
Where: TD Garden
TV: TNT
Stream: TNT app
Radio: Tunein.com


 

Cavaliers vs Celtics Season Series

Boston won two of three in the regular season over Cleveland but that Cavs won the last meeting 105-104 at home on March 5 even though the Cavs were missing starters Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley. Usual reserve Dean Wade made five 3-pointers and scored 20 points in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Celtics by himself. The Celtics looked for a final shot and star Jayson Tatum, who led Boston with 26 points, appeared to draw a foul on Cleveland’s Darius Garland while shooting a fadeaway jumper with 0.7 seconds left. The Cavs challenged the call, and following the review, officials said it was Tatum’s leg that caused the contact and not Garland.


 

Injuries to Consider

Boston Celtics

DatePlayerPositionStatus
May 2Kristaps PorzingisCOut

Cleveland Cavaliers

DatePlayerPositionStatus
May 6Ty JeromeSGOut
May 6Craig PorterGOut
May 6Dean WadePFOut
 
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