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Celtics – Cavaliers



Celtics Cavaliers Game 1 handicapping

The Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers will meet in the Eastern Conference finals for the second straight year, and the bookies currently have the Cavs as slight favorites for Sunday`s Game 1 in Boston.

Nobody expected the 2nd seeded Celtics to reach the conference finals after they lost their best two players, Irving (right before the postseason) and Hayward (at the start of the season). However, Boston was able to defeat Milwaukee 4-3 and the highly fancied Philadelphia 4-1 so far in the playoffs, mostly due to the exceptional coaching of Brad Stevens. The Celtics are yet to lose at home in the 2018 playoffs so far, so they will draw confidence from that when they host the resurgent Cavaliers in Game 1.

Cleveland (the 4th seed) struggled to find the proper chemistry in the regular season and also had problems in the first round of the playoffs, when they needed 7 games to defeat the Indiana Pacers. However, Lebron and the Cavs put their foot on the gas in the semifinals, sweeping the first seeded Raptors 4-0 after some dominating performances. Lebron James has been absolutely fantastic so far in the postseason and he is definitely in full business mode now, after not pushing his body so much and not being completely focused in the regular season.

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Team news: The Celtics continue to be without Irving, Hayward, Theis and Larkin, while the Cavs are at full strength, with no missing players.

Brad Stevens and the Celtics have done an excellent job so far, but it will be very difficult for a team full of rookies and young players to challenge the great Lebron James and his experienced Cavaliers in a conference final. It will be quite interesting to see if Boston’s young guns will be up for the task – because while they have been great so far, they only met other young and inexperienced teams, the Bucks and the Sixers. They could look very different (and not in a good way) against a fully motivated Lebron.

The youth and inexperience of their opponents is also a big reason for which Boston is undefeated at home in these playoffs. The Celtics had at least 3-4 nail biters at the TD Garden, which they barely edged, a couple of them due to blatant errors made by the opposition late in matches. They are unlikely to have the same luck again in another close game (if it will be the case), given Cleveland’s experience and Lebron’s clutch ability.

The Cavs have been excellent in the last series and are definitely a different team at this late stage of the season – which is not surprising, as it happened last year as well. This is the moment when Lebron James is at his best, finally giving his all without holding anything back, and he should be able to dominate this series against the young Celtics – despite the great job Stevens is doing coaching that team.

Look for the Cavs to come into the match focused and with a business like attitude, knowing what they need to do. Lebron lost just 3 games out of 15 in the Conference finals since he returned to Cleveland, and never Game 1, which comes to show that he is not messing around at this stage of the season.

My tip is the Cavs to win. The -1.5 handicap is obviously an option as well, but the difference in odds is very small, and these two teams played some close games in these playoffs – so I`ll choose the slightly safer straight win. As per my analysis, a 7 unit stake seems like a reasonable one here. Prediction: Boston Celtics – Cleveland Cavaliers 104 – 110.

Pick: Cavaliers
Odds: 1.86 @ 1xBet
Stake: 7
Possible profit: 6.02
Event date: 13 May

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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