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May 17, 2017

There is one pick tonight.

Take the UNDER 219.5 total points in Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics for 3% of the bankroll.

The Eastern Conference Finals get underway tonight as the second-seeded and reigning NBA Champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers, travel to the TD Garden to take on the top-seeded Boston Celtics.

There is certainly no love lost when it comes to LeBron James and his feeling on the Boston Celtics. Dating all the way back to his early years in the league, the Boston Celtics were a team that LeBron James had always struggled against. In a popular interview, James even went so far to say that one of his main reasons for leaving the Cavaliers and joining the Miami Heat was simply to "Beat Boston". James has stated many times that when he faces off against the Celtics that there is another level of intensity that he feels that allows him to elevate his game to even another level. We expect that motivation to be on full display in this championship series.

While many may believe his added motivation will translate into even bigger offensive stat lines, we believe his biggest impact may in fact be on the defensive side of the basketball. James is a severely underrated defender, given the astonishing offensive statistics he has shown capable of producing, but he is still a 6-time All-Defensive player. In the clutch, fewer players have had such a resounding impact on the defensive side of the ball than James.

Cleveland is going to need all the defense that they can muster for this series as the Celtics have been on a complete and utter tear on offensive in the Garden. Over their last 4 games played on their home court, they are averaging 122.5 points per game, however, we believe that may change tonight. The Celtics were just in an extremely physical series that went a full 7 games with the Washington Wizards and may be a bit sluggish and tired ahead of this contest. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers have not taken the court since May 7th after finishing sweeping their series with the Toronto Raptors and while some may look at the Cavs extended break as a time to get extra rest, we feel that it may actually cause them to be a bit rusty and out of sync in the early minutes of this contest which could certainly help this game stay lower scoring than expected.

The oddsmakers have listed this game with a fairly high total given the capabilities of both offenses, however we believe the situational angles surrounding this game will lead it to being much lower scoring than expected. This is a pivotal series and we expect both teams to take a more cautious and conservative approach to (at least) the first game of the series. Points will be scored, but we don't believe it will be enough as the final score stay just under the posted total.

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