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NBA Playoffs Cavaliers at Celtics Game 1 Betting Preview

Boston Going to Cruise to the Eastern Conference Finals?

Boston is a -2000 favorite to win their Eastern Conference semifinals series against Cleveland, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be individual games that the visitors can snatch victory – or at least cover the point spread – starting with Tuesday night’s Cavaliers vs Celtics Game 1 betting matchup.

Boston is projected to dominate this round, and oddsmakers aren’t giving the Cavs much credit out of the gate making them a +12.5 underdog for the series opener. The Celtics went 4-1 ATS in round 1 vs. Miami, while it took Cleveland the whole 7 games to finally eliminate Orlando. Does Boston roll to an easy one on Tuesday?

Why the Cavaliers Have Value on Tuesday

The Celtics looked pretty good in rolling past the Heat in round 1, covering a number greater than -9.5 in their three consecutive wins to close out the series. Two other things are undeniable though 1) Miami won Game 2 in Boston 111-101 as +14 point underdogs and 2) the Heat were missing leading scorer Jimmy Butler the whole series after he was injured in the play-in tournament and Jaime Jaquez, Jr. also went out early in Game 4 and missed Game 5.

Cleveland was only 1-2 vs. the Celtics this year, but they did keep both of the games in Boston within Tuesday’s +12.5 point spread (120-113, 116-107). The Cavs also scored a 105-104 win in the head to head series on March 5th, even though Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell missed that game.

Mitchell battled some knee issues as the regular season came to an end, but he averaged 28.7 ppg in the series against Orlando. Mitchell had 50 points in Orlando in Game 6, and added 39 in the decisive Game 7 victory vs. the Magic.

Why the Celtics Have Value on Tuesday

Sure Miami did not have Butler last round, but the Celtics also posted a 20, a 20, a 14, and a 34 point win in the series so it wasn’t an incredibly stressful round. Finishing off the Heat early means Boston has been resting for nearly a week, while the Cavs only wrapped up their series with Orlando on Sunday.

You have to wonder what Cleveland has left in the tank for the semifinals opener at TD Garden? The Cavs had to battle back from an 18-point deficit in Sunday’s Game 7, and also lost all three games on the road to the Magic last round by 38, 33, and 7 points.

Boston didn’t exert a ton of effort in their first round series, but Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown still both averaged over 21 ppg in the series and Derrick White had a breakout game with 38 points in Game 4 while adding 25 in Game 5.

Free Cavaliers at Celtics Game 1 Betting Pick

It would be a shocker if Boston did not notch the victory in Game 1, but will it be a blowout? Cleveland has to be a bit exhausted after a long first round series with Orlando, but they’ve got a very talented back court and some decent size up front with Evan Mobley and if Jarrett Allen (ribs) can get back on the court.

Free Pick: Cavaliers +12.5

Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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