The Boston Celtics (40-17), the leagues top shooting defense, will meet the Cleveland Cavaliers (32-22) at TD Garden. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 213.5 points with Boston set as a 4-point favorite. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 11, 2018, and it can be seen on ABC.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics Betting Preview
In the Cavaliers last contest, they beat the Atlanta Hawks, 123-107. With 22 points, 19 assists and 12 rebounds, LeBron James led the way for Cleveland with his ninth triple-double this season. Cleveland dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a superb turnover percentage of 8.5 (better than their season average of 13.0) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.622 (above their season average of 0.543). Atlanta put up marks of 10.5 and 0.529, respectively, for those same stats.
The Celtics are hoping for a better outcome after their 97-91 loss to the Indiana Pacers in their last game. Kyrie Irving led Boston in scoring with 21 points on 8-for-18 shooting. Indiana had an offensive rebounding percentage of 33.3 (above their season average of 21.3). Boston, meanwhile, had a better turnover percentage (9.3 vs. 12.3).
Points at the line might be scarce for Boston in this contest. The Celtics rank 21st in the NBA with a free throw attempt (FTA) rate of 0.184, while Cleveland ranks first in FTA rate allowed (0.160). Moreover, the Cavaliers fifth-ranked offense (offensive efficiency of 110.0) will battle against the Celtics top-ranked defense (defensive efficiency of 100.7).
Of Cleveland’s 54 games, 28 have finished over the projected point total, while 30 of Boston’s 57 games have finished under the projected point total. Looking at straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records, the Celtics have a clear advantage. They are 40-17 SU and 33-21-3 ATS, while the Cavaliers are 32-22 SU and 16-37-1 ATS.
These two teams have met twice already this year, each winning once. In the most recent contest, the Cavaliers lost 102-88, unable to cover as 3-point underdogs. James put up 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists. The two teams combined for 190 points, which was 22.5 points below the projected point total of 212.5 points. Boston had a much better effective field goal percentage (0.511 vs. 0.393). Cleveland, on the other hand, did a great job of converting from the free throw line (18-18; 100.0 percent).
Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics Free Prediction
Free NBA Pick: SU Winner – Celtics, ATS Winner – Celtics, O/U – Under
- The Celtics rank fourth in steals allowed per game (7.0) while the Cavaliers rank 16th (7.8).
- Cleveland ranks 15th in points off turnovers per game (16.5) while Boston ranks 26th (14.5).
- Cleveland ranks 13th in fast break points per game (11.7) while Boston ranks 25th (9.5).
- On the road, Cleveland is 10-17 ATS with 14 overs and 13 unders.
- Boston is 15-12-3 ATS at home with 16 unders and 14 overs.
- Cleveland is 11-2 when they hold opponents below 100 points, while Boston is 26-3.
- In games where they reach the century mark, the Celtics are 29-7 and the Cavaliers are 31-12.
- The Celtics rank 15th in blocks per game (4.7) while the Cavaliers rank 26th (3.8).
- Boston ranks third in assists allowed per game (20.4) while Cleveland ranks 29th (26.0).
- The Celtics rank sixth in three pointers allowed per game (26.5) while the Cavaliers rank last (32.1).
- The Celtics rank 11th in rebounds per game (44.3) while the Cavaliers rank 21st in rebounds allowed per game (44.3).
- Boston ranks seventh in points allowed in the paint per game (42.3) while Cleveland ranks 25th (47.4).
- Boston is 2-2-1 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Cleveland is 2-3 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
- The Celtics have been outscored by an average of 2.0 points in their last five games. For the season, Boston has defeated opponents by an average of 4.2 points.
- During their last five games, the Cavaliers have scored an average of 108.0 points per game (1.8 below their season average) and allowed an average of 114.0 points per game (3.9 above their season average).