The Cleveland Cavaliers looked overmatched in the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, dropping both in Boston by double digits. However, the Cavs dominated Game 3 at home and are solidly favored on the NBA odds for Monday’s Game 4.
2018 NBA Playoffs Preview: Celtics at Cavaliers NBA Odds & Game 4 Info
When: Monday, 8:30 PM ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
Radio: 98.5 FM (Boston) / 1100 AM (Cleveland)
NBA Odds: Cavs -6.5 (206.5)
Why Bet on Boston’s NBA Odds?
The Celtics certainly can’t play any worse than they did in the Game 3 116-86 loss.
“I use [Game 3] as fuel. I thought it was embarrassing. Thought we came out, the way I played, the way I performed, how not aggressive I was in the first half, I look at that as fuel to come out in Game  and be excited about it and be ready to play and ready to fight,” Jaylen Brown said after.
Brown wasn’t very good, scoring 10 points with two rebounds, one assist, one block and two 3-pointers in just 21 minutes. It was his worst game of the postseason by far with Brown getting into foul trouble while making tons of mistakes on both ends. He had 23 points in both Game 1 and 2.
Terry Rozier made 5-of-12 from the field for 13 points with three rebounds, two assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 28 minutes. He’s been much better at home in the playoffs. Al Horford scored seven points with seven rebounds, four assists, and one 3-pointer in 30 minutes. The Cavs took him out of the game plan in the first half and at that point it was too late with the Celtics down 20 for much of the third quarter. Horford’s scoring output has dropped in each game during this series.
Who Didn’t Have a Good Game 3?
Marcus Morris blamed himself for allowing LeBron James to get going early in Game 3. Morris, who before the series dubbed himself one of the best James defenders in the NBA, had played well first two games of the series. But James scored more points against Morris in Game 3 (12) than he did in Games 1 and 2 combined (11).
Backup point guard Shane Larkin (shoulder) participated in some full-contact drills at Sunday’s practice. Larkin appeared to have the full range of motion in his sprained left shoulder, and wasn’t grimacing at all when taking contact, so it’s a step in the right direction. He’s not expected to play in Game 4 on Monday in Cleveland but Game 5 is now looking possible.
Why Bet on Cleveland’s NBA Odds?
LeBron James made 8-of-12 from the field and 8-of-10 from the line for 27 points during the easy Game 3 win, adding five rebounds, 12 assists, two steals, two blocks and two steals in 38 minutes. The Cavs had a double-digit lead for 42 minutes during this wire-to-wire victory, but LeBron stayed in the game until 6:49 with the Cavs up 30 — their biggest lead of the night.
James (2,351 FGM) is 6 field goals away from passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2,356 FGM) as the NBA’s all-time postseason leader in field goals made. James (225 BLK) can also move into sole possession of 15th place in career playoff blocks with one, passing Rasheed Wallace and Robert Horry (both w/225 BLK). With 16 more rebounds, James (2,047 REB) will pass Karl Malone (2,062 REB) for the 6th-most in NBA postseason history.
James was also engaged defensively, setting the tone early on by blocking a couple of shots and showing needed activity. The Celtics were 2-of-10 shooting with four turnovers when James was the primary defender.
Kyle Korver made 5-of-5 from the field for 14 points with two rebounds and four 3-pointers in 20 minutes. The Cavs totaled just 14 made three-pointers the first two games but had 17 in Game 3. George Hill scored 13 points with three rebounds, two assists, one steal and three 3-pointers in 30 minutes. After the Cavs guards were crushed by their Boston counterparts, Hill set the tone early with 11 points in the first quarter to help the Cavs take a 32-17 lead after 12 minutes.
How Well Have the Cavs Done in the Playoffs?
The Cavaliers are 6-1 at home in these playoffs and have won consecutive home games by at least 30 points (128-93 vs. TOR on 5/7/18) for the second time in franchise playoff history. Cleveland has also won 6 straight games at home, outscoring opponents by an average of 12.9 points (108.7-95.8) over that stretch while shooting .488 from the field, .397 from beyond the arc and .811 from the foul line. The Cavs have not allowed more than 100 points in five of their seven home games this postseason. In Game 3, the Cavs held the Celtics to opponent 2018 postseason lows in points (86) and FG% (.392), while also allowing just a .273 (6-22) mark from three-point range.
Cleveland holds a 14-6 all-time home record versus Boston in the playoffs. They have also won 9 of their last 12 home games against the Celtics dating back to the 2014-15 season (regular and postseason).
Latest NBA Betting Trends
- Boston is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games
- Boston is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Boston’s last 6 games
- Cleveland is 5-10 ATS in its last 15 games
- Cleveland is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Cleveland’s last 5 games
Expert NBA Betting Prediction
Boston is just a completely different team on the road. Take the Cavs to cover and even things up.