(CTN News) – The first meeting was won by Boston 117-113, but it wasn’t as close as that scoreline might suggest. The Celtics opened up a 20-point lead in the third quarter and were still ahead by 13 with two minutes remaining.
As a result, Cleveland was able to cover as +5.5 underdogs at the death, which can happen in the NBA. After Cleveland had won the first two games of the season, Boston held on to win the game and that had always been expected.
The Celtics’ Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, and Robert Williams III all recorded double-doubles with a strong rebounding effort, while Donovan Mitchell contributed 44 points in 44 minutes for the Cavaliers.
Williams has been ruled out for the long term due to a long-term injury, whereas Mitchell was forced off the court due to an injury sustained against Detroit. Currently, he is considered to be questionable and may be given some time to rest.
According to Planet Sport Bet, the spread for this game is Cleveland -6.5, with the total set at 219.5.
With respect to this contest, Boston is now on a 1-5 ATS run, and they have lost back-to-back games since beating Cleveland. Having played only once at home, the Cavaliers have had plenty of time to rest and practice.
In spite of the loss in Boston, Cleveland is on a 9-4 ATS run, having won nine of their last 13 games outright, and they have also been dominant at home, where they are 27-7.
They clearly have an advantage due to their home court advantage and their current form.
However, winning the game and covering the spread are two different things. It was a tight game last time out for the Celtics, and they will be looking to rebound here after losing 131-129 to the Knicks.
Interestingly, the Celtics have gone 9-0 against the spread when they have allowed 125 or more points. It is too wide of a spread for another close game to occur. A good bet would be Boston +6.5.
On the road, the Celtics’ defense allows 112 points per game, whereas the Cavaliers allow 104 points per game on the road. Additionally, this will be the fourth meeting between the two teams, and familiarity can lead to lower scores.
Only 217 people showed up for the first meeting. After a 250+ point contest, it got pushed down to 220 and hasn’t gotten back up. It seems prudent to preempt a drop-off in this game.
We’ve seen some high-scoring games recently, but the Cavaliers have gone under seven of 10 after winning their last game. Assuming this game goes the way we think it will, you’ll also want to consider Under 219.5.
Why is Boston called Celtics?