The Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers both played on Friday night, and are being asked to turn around and play on Saturday night as well. Both sides of this Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers matchup are being impacted by injuries, which will make this game more challenging than it would have been otherwise. For either side to come out with the win here, they will need to improvise and figure out how to replace the production of some of their top talent.
This is the first meeting of the season between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers. In this game, both sides will look to tip off their season series with a win over one another. But there are greater implications at play in this contest, as both sides will look to prove that they can beat another respectable Eastern Conference opponent without the presence of some of their best players.
Boston Celtics – Missing A Star
The Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks at home on Friday night, pulling away from Milwaukee in overtime to secure a win that moved them to 6-6 on the season. The Bucks didn’t have Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Celtics still struggled to put them away, needing 53 minutes to get the job done instead of the usual 48. A lot of that has to do with the fact that the Celtics are without one of their top stars in Jaylen Brown.
Brown is arguably the best player on the Celtics roster, as he and Jayson Tatum are the two players that the Celtics rely on the most. Without Brown, the Celtics lose a player that impacts the game on both ends of the floor more than nearly anyone in the NBA. But Boston has won four of its last five games, and appears to be prospering regardless of who is on the floor for them at the moment.
Expected Line-Up: Dennis Schroder, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Robert Williams, Al Horford
with best odds
Cleveland Cavaliers – Also Missing A Star
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been red hot, winning five of their last six games to move to 8-5 on the season. Cleveland’s last outing came on Friday, where they beat up on the Detroit Pistons in a 20-point victory for the Cavs. Cleveland is also missing some important talent from its roster, with Collin Sexton being the most prominent example of a key player currently sitting out for the Cavaliers.
Cleveland has beaten some quality teams over its recent run of good form, including the Knicks, Hornets, Trail Blazers and Raptors. While the Cavs were expected to struggle this season, they have played great team basketball to overcome the fact that they are often the second most talented team on the floor. The question is whether they can take advantage of the lack of Jaylen Brown for Boston.
Expected Line-Up: Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro, Dean Wade, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen
Expert Pick #1 – Celtics -2.5 @ -110
The first bet to make on this game is the Celtics -2.5 points at -112 odds, as the Celtics have superior versatility to the Cavaliers right now. Too much of Cleveland’s game is based on the play of their bigs right now, with Boston having enough frontcourt talent to make that insufficient for this game. The loss of Sexton should hurt the Cavs more than the loss of Brown will hurt the Celtics.
Expert Pick #2 – Celtics to Win @ -136
Second, we recommend taking the Celtics to win this game at -136 odds. Boston certainly has its flaws, but the Cavaliers are overvalued right now based on the start they have had this season. Cleveland will come back down to Earth, and getting the Celtics at this short of a price despite their superiority to the Cavs is a bargain that bettors should take advantage of while they still can.
Expert Pick #3 – Under 203 @ -109
Our third and final bet for this game is going to be the Under 203 at -109 odds. This game features a low total, but that is deserved when the Cleveland Cavaliers are involved. Cleveland loves to play games at a slow pace, where they can rely on their defense and rebounding to carry them through. With so many capable bigs on their roster, including two very good ones in Allen and Mobley, the Cavs should help direct this total under.
This is going to be a very competitive game, with both teams set to grind things out against a respectable opponent. But the Celtics have a better weapon in Tatum going into this contest and they should be able to prosper at the guard spots with Sexton out. This has the potential to be the game of the night in the NBA on Saturday, but the Celtics should come out on top.