Offense meets defense when the Cleveland Cavaliers (25-12) head to Boston to take on the Celtics (30-10). Action gets underway at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN.
Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics Odds Preview
The Cavaliers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in their last outing, 127-110. LeBron James led Cleveland in scoring with 24 points on 10-for-17 shooting. Cleveland played a nearly perfect game. They had an extraordinary free throw rate of 0.337 (above their season average of 0.222) and a turnover percentage of 9.2 (better than their season average of 13.1). Portland had marks of 0.144 and 13.2, respectively, for those same stats.
In the Celtics last game, they defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 108-105. With 28 points on 10-for-21 shooting, Kyrie Irving was the games leading scorer. The Celtics had a great effective field goal percentage of 0.582 (above their season average of 0.522), while the Nets had a free throw rate of 0.168 (below their season average of 0.212).
Cleveland could struggle to create turnovers. Boston ranks ninth in the NBA at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 13.7 percent), while Cleveland forces the seventh-fewest turnovers (13.6 percent). Moreover, the Cavaliers third-ranked offense (offensive efficiency of 112.1) will battle against the Celtics top-ranked defense (defensive efficiency of 101.4).
Neither team has shown a tendency in terms of going over or under the projected point total. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Celtics have a substantial advantage. They are 30-10 SU and 24-14-2 ATS, while the Cavaliers are 25-12 SU and 11-24-1 ATS.
These teams have already met once this season. In that game, the two teams combined to put up 201 points, well under the projected point total of 216. The Cavaliers won 102-99, but were unable to cover as 5-point favorites. The Cavaliers dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a great free throw rate of 0.253 and an offensive rebounding percentage of 19.6. The Celtics were 0.216 and 18.0, respectively, for those same stats. James recorded a double-double with 29 points and 16 rebounds.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Cavaliers, ATS Winner – Cavaliers, O/U – Under
- The Celtics rank fifth in points allowed in the paint per game (41.5) while the Cavaliers rank 18th (45.0).
- Boston ranks fourth in fast break points allowed per game (9.3) while Cleveland ranks 11th (10.4).
- Boston ranks fifth in second chance points allowed per game (10.8) while Cleveland ranks 15th (12.2).
- Boston is 11-8-2 ATS at home, while Cleveland is 9-9 ATS on the road.
- The total has gone under in 10 of the Cavaliers 18 road games, while 12 of the Celtics 21 home games have gone over.
- Boston is 21-1 when they allow below 100 points, while Cleveland is 10-1.
- The Cavaliers are 25-8 when they score above 100 points, while the Celtics are 22-4.
- The Celtics rank 19th in blocks per game (4.6) while the Cavaliers rank 28th (3.7).
- Boston ranks third in assists allowed per game (20.3) while Cleveland ranks 29th (25.4).
- The Celtics rank sixth in three pointers allowed per game (26.6) while the Cavaliers rank last (32.1).
- The Celtics average 44.0 rebounds per game, which ranks 13th in the NBA. The Cavaliers rank 14th in rebounds allowed per game (42.8).
- Cleveland ranks 11th in points off turnovers per game (17.4) while Boston ranks 28th (14.2).
- Boston is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Cleveland is 0-5 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
- The Celtics average margin of victory in their last five games has been 6.4, up from 5.0 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Cavaliers have scored an average of 106.0 points per game (4.5 below their season average) and allowed an average of 106.8 points per game (0.6 below their season average).