Betting odds c/o Bovada
The Cleveland Cavaliers opened up the Best of 7 series with the Washington Wizards by winning 113-100 behind 30 points from star guard Kyrie Irving. The Cavs are hoping to extend that series lead tonight in a game NBA oddsmakers favor the Cavs by 11.5 points in NBA daily lines. The total is set at 206, and for an explanation of how to bet over/unders see our NBA odds explained.
The Cavs were said in the series preview to need to rely on Kevin Love heavier, whether he produced or not. They did. Love took 14 shots, though he hit just five. Love did hit 7 of 8 from the free throw line and overall he came through with a very big game, scoring 19 points total and grabbing 12 rebounds (three offensive). Love found open teammates and ended up with four official assists, though he did have several passes that could have been converted. Even so, the Cavs hit 13 of 31 from three-point range (41 percent) and kept turnovers down (12).
Cleveland will want to get off to a better start to avoid having to rely so heavily on its second unit. The Cavs trailed by four points after one period, but Tristan Thompson played a strong game off the bench with 12 points and six boards, while James Jones hit a pair of triples and Iman Shumpert had a strong defensive effort in helping keep Isaiah Thomas in check.
Thomas felt he was snubbed of the sixth man of the year award and the super sub hit 6 of 14 from the floor (including 2 of 5 from three) and 8 of 8 from the line en route to a team-high 22 points. The C’s need Thomas to continue to play bigger still with no other teammate having more than 12 points in the game and the team basically struggling to put up points other than the 31 point first quarter that gave the Celtics an edge early on. Avery Bradley and Evan Turner did particularly poor on the wings, hitting a combined 7 of 22 and Bradley was 1 of 6 from behind the arc.
If Boston is to win this series, it’s going to need more from its starters. The Celtics bench came through big with 55 points, but the starters had just 45. While Brad Stevens has to be pleased to have the second unit playing so well, he’s going to have to get more out of Marcus Smart, Turner and Bradley if this series is to go any beyond a four-game sweep.
LeBron James had a solid but unspectacular Game 1, which may be an indicator that he’s going to let loose tonight. James shot 8 of 18 from the floor for 20 points, while dishing out seven assists and grabbing six rebounds. Irving was playing such inspired ball, James was content to let the former Duke Blue Devil do the damage.
Irving hit five three pointers and while he wasn’t really dishing it a lot, the Cavs offense ran smooth and finished with 19 assists on 37 field goals. Look for Thompson to absorb even more of Timofey Mozgov’s minutes with Thompson playing very good basketball and it being basically an eight-man rotation at this point with Matthew Dellavedova and Shawn Marion essentially having been removed from it to tighten up for the postseason.
• Celtics are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a SU loss of more than 10 points.
• Celtics are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 vs. Eastern Conference.
• Celtics are 23-9 ATS in their last 32 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
• Celtics are 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 games following a ATS loss.
• Celtics are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
• Celtics are 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 games overall.
• Cavaliers are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
• Cavaliers are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
• Cavaliers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 Conference Quarterfinals games.
• Cavaliers are 15-7 ATS in their last 22 home games.
• Cavaliers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a losing S.U. record.
• Cavaliers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
• Cavaliers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. Eastern Conference.