Update: Mobley has been ruled out for the Cavs, while LeVert is listed as questionable. The line is now Celtics -11.5 and the total is 224. I still like Cleveland +11.5 and the over on the total since both starting guards are going to play for the Cavs.
The Cleveland Cavaliers (13-10) will get an opportunity to test themselves against the top team in the Eastern Conference when they visit the Boston Celtics (16-5) Tuesday evening. The Cavaliers are coming off a loss to the Magic Monday, while the Celtics notched a win over the Knicks last Friday. This is the first meeting between these squads this season. The Cavaliers won three of the four meetings a year ago.
Cleveland hasn’t released an official injury report since it is on the second night of a back-to-back set, but Caris LeVert and Evan Mobley didn’t suit up Monday. Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell played heavy minutes, so they could be rested. Boston is good on the injury front.
The Celtics are 10.5-point favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total coming in at 224. Boston is -520 on the moneyline while Cleveland is +390.
Cavaliers vs. Celtics, 7:30 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Cavaliers +10.5
Despite having the best record in the East, the Celtics are just 9-10-2 ATS on the season. They are 7-3 ATS at home. Boston has been a double-digit favorite seven times this season, and has covered the spread in four of those instances. If we take that spread down to 8+ points, the Celtics have covered in six out of 13 games.
On the flip side, the Cavaliers are quite bad on the second night of a back-to-back set. They are 1-2-1 with no rest, but 0-5-1 when they have a rest disadvantage. If Mitchell and Garland don’t suit up, this number might get further away from the Cavaliers. If both guards are in, I like the road team to cover what is a large spread for a regular season game.
Over/Under: Over 224
It’s worth noting three of the four meetings between these teams a season ago went to overtime, which helps contribute to overs hitting. Given the point spread, that’s unlikely to occur here. Cleveland coming in on a back-to-back set is not ideal, and the Cavaliers have been a bad offensive team in general this season. The Celtics are putting up 124 points per game at home, and that alone should help push this total over.