Sports Talk

1 year ago

NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 4 betting preview: Celtics at Cavaliers Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers (-6.5, 206.5)


Celtics lead series 2-1


For all the excitement they've provided as the overachievers in the NBA playoffs, the Boston Celtics have struggled to find success on the road, a trend they will try to reverse when they take on the host Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday. The Cavaliers followed up a pair of double-digit losses in Boston to begin the series before rolling to a 116-86 win in Game 3 back home.


Cleveland raced to a 20-4 lead and never looked back against a Celtics team that shot 39.2 percent from the floor and made six 3-pointers, their lowest total this postseason.


"The toughest team sets the rules," Boston point guard Terry Rozier told reporters. "They came out aggressive from the jump and never looked back. We've got to play aggressive from the tip. Tonight, we were all over the place, playing too fast and doing things we didn't want to do."


LeBron James scored 27 points on 8-of-12 shooting - including 3-of-3 from 3-point distance - and handed out 12 assists in a dominant all-around effort that got his team back in the series.


"Even when things broke down, we just covered for one another," James told the media. "We made them make extra passes. We made them make extra dribbles. We were flying around, and I just happened to be one of the guys on the floor that wanted to fly around as well."


TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN


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SERIES PRICE: Cavaliers +105, Celtics -125 (Betway.com)


LINE HISTORY: Cleveland opened as 6.5-point home chalk for Game 4 and briefly went up to -7 at some books before returning to the opening number. The total hit the betting board at 205.5 and has yet to move. Check out the complete line history here.


INJURY REPORT


Celtics - PG Shane Larkin (Out Indefinitely, Shoulder), PG Kyrie Irving (Out For Season, Knee), PF Daniel Theis (Out For Season, Knee), SF Gordon Hayward (Out For Season, Ankle).


Cavaliers - No injuries to report.


MATCHUP CHART:



ABOUT THE CELTICS: Boston is 1-5 on the road in the playoffs but it knows that a victory would've been elusive no matter where they played Game 3. "If we would have played like that in Boston, we would have gotten beat," coach Brad Stevens told reporters after his team also tied a playoff low with 16 assists while getting outrebounded 45-34. Jaylen Brown is averaging 11.3 points on 42.3 percent shooting in the past three road games - compared to 23.3 on 59.6 percent in the past three at home - after being limited to 10 points with one assist and three turnovers in Game 3.


ABOUT THE CAVALIERS: Starting guards George Hill and J.R. Smith combined to make six 3-pointers and score 24 points Saturday after they put up a pair of clunkers in Boston, while reserve sharpshooter Kyle Korver made all five of his shot attempts - four from long range - en route to 14 points in 20 minutes. Another complementary player stepped up on the defensive end as center Tristan Thompson stifled Celtics big man Al Horford, who was limited to seven points in Game 3 - his first single-digit showing since March 20. "You've got to give a lot of credit to Tristan because Horford is really the one that makes them go," teammate Kevin Love told the media. "[Horford] can play a little bit of the point forward. He can do a lot of the intangibles that even for their team might not show up on the box score as well. But he did a great job on him tonight, and he's done a great job on him the last two games."


CHEERLEADER WAR:



TRENDS:


* Celtics are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
* Cavaliers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
* Under is 4-0 in Celtics last 4 road games.
* Under is 5-0 in Cavaliers last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points.
* Under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.