Boston Celtics (64-31) at Cleveland Cavaliers (58-36)
|Date & Time||Saturday May 19, 2018, 8:31 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Cleveland Cavaliers -6.5 -- Over/Under: 205
The Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers meet Saturday in game three of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals at the Quicken Loans Arena.
The Boston Celtics can all but put this series to bed with a road victory here and taking a 3-0 lead. The Boston Celtics are averaging 104.6 points on 45 percent shooting and allowing 100.5 points on 45.9 percent shooting. Jayson Tatum is averaging 18.1 points and 4.5 rebounds while Jaylen Brown is averaging 17.8 points and 5.2 rebounds. Terry Rozier is the third double-digit scorer and Al Horford is grabbing 8.4 rebounds. The Boston Celtics are shooting 35.8 percent from beyond the arc and 77.1 percent from the free throw line. The Boston Celtics are allowing 33 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 43.1 rebounds per game. The Boston Celtics have lost seven of their last eight road games.
The Cleveland Cavaliers need a victory here to bring the series to 2-1 if they have any real chance of getting back in this thing. The Cleveland Cavaliers are averaging 101.2 points on 45.8 percent shooting and allowing 102.8 points on 47.7 percent shooting. LeBron James is averaging 33.4 points and 9.2 assists while Kevin Love is averaging 15.5 points and 10.3 rebounds. Kyle Korver is the third double-digit scorer and JR Smith is dishing 1.2 assists. The Cleveland Cavaliers are shooting 33.6 percent from beyond the arc and 75.8 percent from the free throw line. The Cleveland Cavaliers are allowing 35.6 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 39.1 rebounds per game. The Cleveland Cavaliers have won 10 of their last 12 home games.
The Celtics are 37-18 ATS in their last 55 road games, 41-15 ATS in their last 56 Saturday games and 25-9 ATS in their last 34 games overall. The Cavaliers are 17-36 ATS in their last 53 Saturday games, 15-35-1 ATS in their last 51 home games and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games overall. The Celtics are 4-0-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Cleveland, 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings and the road team is 14-5-1 ATS in the last 20 meetings.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will play better at home, as it's the one place they usually look more like the Cavs you expect to see, and LeBron actually gets help. However, the Celtics have shown no reason to bet against them in this series or these playoffs overall. Even with the Celtics issues SU on the road, you're still talking about a Boston team that's covered 11 of its last 16 games as an underdog. Whether you think the Cavs will win this game outright or not, they've been burning money, which includes being 3-8 AST in their last 11 games as a favorite. We also saw a Cavs team that looked depressed, as you have to question if the players realized this series isn't going to end well for them. There's a ton of time off between games and maybe that helps Cleveland clear its head and get back on track. But the bottom line is the Celtics are the better team and have given me no reason to bet against them, especially when getting a truckload of points.