NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics 8:05 ET

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The Eastern Conference Semifinals match-up between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics finally kicks-off this evening after the Celtics finally disposed of the Atlanta Hawks in their Game 7 match-up on Sunday. The Cavaliers have been resting up for this match-up ever since they won their first round series against the Washington Wizards last Friday night. Lebron and the Cavs disposed of the Wizards four games to two to knock them out of the post-season for the third consecutive season. Of their four series wins, the Cavs won a pair on the road and at home. They covered the spread in four of the six games and the ‘total’ split right down the middle (3O/3U). As for the Celtics, they had a heck of a time disposing of the 8th seeded Atlanta Hawks. Maybe it was a sign that they’re not as good as the regular season suggested, or maybe it was just first round jitters for this new group. That said, they trounced Atlanta in all four of its home games winning by an average margin of 25 PPG, which easily led to four straight covers with the average spread being 14.5 per game. However, they botched all three of its road affairs vs. the Hawks losing outright as an away favorite of 8-9 points per game. The series saw the over cash four times, with the three lower scoring games occurring in the Boston Garden.

These clubs split their season series this year with each team winning on its home court. There was only one double digit win of the four when Boston beat the Cavs by 10 at home 80-70 back in early December, but the heart and soul of the Cavs roster, Lebron James, sat that game out with an injury. All three of the other games were very closely contested. The Cavs won the first meeting of the season, 109-104, in overtime covering as 3.5-point home underdogs. They squeaked by the Celtics, 114-113, as three-point home favorites in early February, but then only managed 78-points at Boston losing 92-87 as 9.5-point road underdogs in the series finale. Both games at Cleveland soared over the closing ‘total’, while both games in The Garden went under the ‘total’ by an average of almost 25 PPG.

Oddsmakers opened the Celtics up as 10-point home favorites with the ‘total’ set at 184 for the opening game of what should be a very exciting series. Boston currently sits in the 9.5-10-point range with the ‘total’ being bought down to 182.5. Both the ‘side’ and ‘total’ can be wagered upon at right now!!!

The Celtics made their backers plenty of loot at home this year after putting forth an impressive 29-14 ATS mark, but the Cavaliers also showed a modest return on the road this year posting a 24-20 ATS mark. Boston went 9-6 ATS as a home favorite between 9-12 points this season, while Cleveland managed a 1-1 mark ATS as a road underdog of 9-12 points. The underdog and road team has dominated this series of late. The road team has covered the spread in 5 of the L/8 overall meetings, while the underdog is 6-0-1 ATS the L/7 times. Cleveland just so happens to be 4-1-2 ATS their L/7 trips to Boston, and 7-3-2 ATS the L/12 overall meetings and they’re the decided underdog in Game 1 of this series.

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