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Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics - Game 5 - 5/23/18 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Cleveland Cavaliers (60-37) at Boston Celtics (65-33)

NBA Basketball: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 8:30 pm (TD Garden)

The Line: Boston Celtics +1 -- Over/Under: 206 See the Latest Odds


The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics collide in a pivotal Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the TD Garden on Wednesday.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are now just one win from taking the lead in the series after beating the Celtics by 111-102 to level the series on Monday night. LeBron James continued his red-hot form, leading the way with 44 points on 17 of 28 shooting, Kyle Korver added 14 points off the bench while Tristan Thompson and George Hill added 13 points apiece. As a team, the Cavaliers shot a healthy 50 percent from the field and eight of 23 from the three-point line but the key to victory was their strong start to the game as they closed the first quarter on a ferocious 25-8 run to give themselves a handy cushion that came in handy in the second half. Kevin Love had a quiet night as he finished with just nine points on three of 12 shooting to go along with six turnovers while JR Smith chipped in with nine points of his own.  

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Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics - Game 5 - 5/23/18 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics will be kicking themselves after failing to steal one of those road games but they really weren’t that bad in Monday’s loss. Jaylen Brown led the team with 25 points on 10 of 23 shooting, Jayson Tatum added 17 points, Terry Rozier scored 16 points with 11 assists while Al Horford chipped in with 15 points. As a team, the Celtics shot 41 percent from the field and nine of 28 from the three-point line but they just left themselves too much ground to make up after getting blown out in the first quarter. In fact, the Celtics outscored the Cavaliers in the other three quarters but a nine-point deficit was as close as they could get.

Looking at the betting trends, the Cavaliers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games against a team above .600, 5-11 ATS in their last 16 Wednesday games and 8-17 ATS in their last 25 road games against a team with a winning home record. The Celtics are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a loss, 18-6 ATS in their last 24 home games and 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games overall.

Head to head, the under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings overall, the under is 10-3 in the last 13 meetings in Boston and the home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.

It’s really concerning that the Celtics failed to win one of those road games because they’ve now lost six of seven road games in these playoffs. Fortunately, the Celtics are still undefeated at home in these playoffs which really makes this game interesting as the Cavaliers clearly have all the momentum now. LeBron has been on an absolute tear lately as he’s making tough shots and tough passes, but I’m just not sure he’ll get the same support from his teammates on the road like he did at home. With that being said, I’m sticking with the Celtics to stay keep their undefeated home record intact with a narrow win to reclaim the momentum in the series.

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