NBA Betting Preview
Boston Celtics (60-19) at Cleveland Cavaliers (64-15)
Sunday, 4:30PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Cleveland -5.5, 186 O/U
Two of the top dogs in the Eastern Conference square off Easter Sunday when the Boston Celtics take the road to play against the toughest home team in the league when they head to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers. Cleveland is sporting a mind blowing 38-1 record at home heading into the showdown and they have truly been a class of their own inside Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland has won 3 straight games knocking off Philadelphia 102-92 on Friday night. The Celtics have put together a solid 6 game winning streak heading into the much anticipated match-up with their last loss back in late March from Orlando. Boston has a two game advantage over the Magic for the 2nd place bragging rights position in the East and a win would guarantee them that spot. However, the Celtics will be trying to do what only one team has done all season and that is defeat the Cavaliers in Cleveland. Boston has gotten the better of the Cavaliers twice out of the prior 3 meetings this season and they will seek a 3rd victory this Sunday.
Cleveland has won an impressive 16 of their last 18 ball games as they remain strong closing out the year. The only really disappointing performance Cleveland has had down the stretch was the blowout loss to Orlando back on April 3rd, but they will still be favorites to win the East heading into the playoffs in a matter of few short weeks. Lebron James has led the scoring efforts for the Cavaliers the last 10 games which should not be surprising since the superstar is averaging a NBA 2nd best 28.3 points per game for the season. James has averaged a stellar 24 points in the prior 3 meetings and in their only win over the Celtics this season he posted a strong 38 point performance. James will need some help from Mo Williams and others this Sunday to take down the Celtics even if they are the favorites at home. Boston usually does a good job defensively of putting a hand in a shooters face and the Cavaliers will need a collective effort unless James catches fire. The game should be an interesting precursor to see if anyone will be able to contend with Cleveland at home during the playoffs.
Boston is coming fresh off a strong 105-98 win over Miami on Friday night. Celtics small forward Paul Pierce posted a team high 28 points in the victory. Rajon Rondo posted a double-double despite a down night shooting the ball. Rondo had 10 rebounds and 12 assist running the point for the Celtics, but only managed to put in 7 points which was very surprising considering he was averaging 24 points in the previous 3 games. The victory marked the 5th straight game the Boston Celtics had scored a 100 points or more. The feat is actually the first time all season the Celtics have put together 5 straight 100 point performances. The Celtics defense is popularly known to be among the best in the NBA and when they put together higher scoring efforts it makes them nearly impossible to beat. Boston has now won 6 straight and 10 of their last 11 games. However, both the Celtics and the Cavaliers have been vulnerable on the road outside of both teams playing extremely well at home. If Boston could grab the 3rd win over the Cavaliers on the road this Sunday it would be just that more impressive to close out the season with a ton of confidence.
Pick – Look for both teams to be in a low scoring grudge match. Take under 186