Cavaliers vs. Celtics: Betting Picks and Prediction for Game 2

Riley Thomas
Riley Thomas_riley8

The Boston Celtics cruised in Game 1 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning 120-95. Boston has now won their past four games by an average margin of 23.3 points per game (PPG).

When looking at FanDuel Sportsbook's NBA playoff odds, the Celtics' chances to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals have inflated to -8000. A sweep for Boston continues to carry the shortest odds for the correct score of this series (+110).

Following Game 1's lopsided result, the Celtics are favored by 13.5 points after being listed as 12.5-point favorites in the series opener. Do the Cavaliers stand any chance in tonight's contest? Let's break down the matchup.

All NBA odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook and may change after this article is published.

NBA Playoffs Betting

Cavaliers-Celtics Betting Odds

Date and Time: Thursday, May 9th at 7:00 p.m. ET

Spread: Celtics -13.5 (-112)

Total: 212.5


  • Cavaliers: +640
  • Celtics: -950

Cavaliers vs. Celtics Advanced Stats Breakdown

nERD via numberFire. Adjusted offensive/defensive ratings and pace via DunksAndThrees.

  • Cavaliers:
    • nERD: 58.8 (10th)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 114.6 (18th)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 112.6 (7th)
    • Pace: 97.5 (24th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 39-42-1
  • Celtics:
    • nERD: 80.8 (1st)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 122.0 (1st)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 111.2 (2nd)
    • Pace: 97.7 (19th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 41-36-5

Cavaliers vs. Celtics Best Bet

Celtics -13.5 (-112)

Cleveland attempted to beat Boston at their own game in the series opener. The Cavs were trigger-happy from three-point land, making only 11 of 42 shots from deep (26.2%). The Celtics, on the other hand, cashed in 18 of 46 three-point attempts (39.1%).

As the shooting splits reveal, the Cavaliers' strategy came back to bite them. If this same mentality continues, I don't see the results changing much. Cleveland cannot outshoot Boston, point blank period. The Cavs have the 15th-best three-point shooting percentage, while the Celtics have the second-best mark.

The Celtics are also used to a high volume from three, for they had the highest shot distribution from deep while taking the most threes per game during the regular season. In comparison, Cleveland took the 11th-most three-point shots.

The Cavaliers are shooting an alarming 28.3% from three in the postseason. It seems very unwise to keep leaning on a high volume of shots from beyond the arc, especially after the beatdown in Game 1.

Defensive intensity cranks up across the board in the postseason, and Cleveland's unit hasn't stacked up with other teams quite as well. They currently have the fourth-best defensive rating among the eight active teams, while Boston has the second-best.

Scoring has been a huge problem with the Cavs holding the worst offensive rating among active teams. Once again, the Celtics are miles better in this category, carrying the fourth-best offensive rating.

Jarrett Allen is questionable and in danger of missing his fifth straight game due to a rib injury. Cleveland sorely missed his presence on the boards in Game 1 as they were outrebounded by 17.

As we discussed in our series preview, guarding the three is probably the most vulnerable part of the Cavs' defense. That rang true in Game 1, and Cleveland is now allowing 34.9 three-point attempts per game in the postseason -- that's one more shot per game compared to their regular season average (33.9).

Between Allen's injury, the Cavaliers' poor three-point shooting, and their inability to defend the perimeter, I believe we are in store for another route. Cleveland is 1-5 against the spread (ATS) over their previous six games while Boston has covered four consecutive contests. I have no problem backing the home favorite in this one.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.