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AprilĀ 5, 2017

There is one pick tonight.

Take Boston Celtics -4 spread against Cleveland Cavaliers for 3% of the bankroll.

There are seven other NBA games scheduled for Wednesday but none that are more eagerly anticipated than this one! The Celtics host the defending champions, Cleveland Cavaliers in a crucial clash that may well determine which team clinches the top seed in the Eastern conference. Both sides own an identical 50-27 record and will want to put the other in their rearview mirror. We believe the hosts have numerous advantages in this matchup and should convert them into a win and cover.

Tristan Thompson is not a household name but has been an integral part of Cleveland's run to the NBA Finals over the last couple of years. The native of Brampton, Ontario, Canada is not only the best rebounder on the team but also their main post-defender/shot blocker. His importance to this side can not be underestimated and yet that's exactly what casual bettors will do as they don't quite realize the impact he has on games given that much of what he excels at, does not show up on the box score. He sets hard screens to free up team-mates for open-looks and limits points in the paint by opposing teams' big men. The absence of his physical presence is likely to result in easy baskets for the C's and that should give them a distinct advantage tonight. 

Kevin Love and Channing Frye have occasionally played as the '5' midgame when coach Ty Lue goes with a smaller lineup but they've very rarely started games in their careers as the 'Center'. They are stretch 4's and great at their particular role but to expect them to fill double T's shoes and limit points in the paint is likely too much. It wouldn't surprise us if one of those two finds himself in foul trouble and has to spend time on the bench as a result. Look for Al Horford and company to take full advantage of Cleveland's weakness tonight. Don't forget that Tristan Thompson had played in 447 consecutive games! He'll miss this game due to a sprained right thumb which ends the current longest active streak in NBA for consecutive games played. Not only that, his 477 consecutive games is also a Cleveland Cavaliers franchise record! It's fair to say that it's been a very long time since Cleveland played a game without Thompson on the floor and they may well struggle without him, especially since it means relatively new 'roles' and defensive assignments for each member of the starting lineup.

Isaiah Thomas has been clutch all season and leads the league in 4th quarter scoring! Kyrie Irving is an incredibly talented and clutch player himself but he's never been a good defender and that is a weakness that has become evidently clear in recent weeks, as teams have jumped all over him and done a lot of damage from the point-guard position. Irving can score with the best of them but his inability to guard the opposing team's PG has created a lot of defensive issues for the Cavs. That has been magnified even more since Iman Shumpert has moved to the bench in favor of the more offensively-talented JR Smith. Without Shumpert on the floor, Irving often has to guard the opposing PG and we believe he'll find it tough to limit Isaiah Thomas, a player that has been unstoppable at the TD Garden and seems to feed off the energy of the crowd. The Celtics have great home court-advantage and in what is their most important game of the regular season in quite a few years, we expect them to deliver and end the night in sole possession of the #1 seed. Look for them to pull away at some point and cover this short spread in the process.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Cleveland is just 5-11 ATS when having played the night before! 
  • Cleveland is a woeful 0-7 ATS after playing 3 consecutive home games.
  • Boston has covered 10 of 15 spreads against Central division opponents.

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