Celtics vs Cavaliers: Boston With The Advantage

Action Network contributor Kenny Ducey details his betting picks and prediction for the TNT matchup between the Celtics and Cavaliers on Tuesday.

Celtics vs. Cavaliers Odds

Celtics Odds -8
Cavaliers Odds +8
Moneyline -340 / +270
Over/Under 215.5
Time Tuesday 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here’s everything you need to know about Celtics vs. Cavaliers on Tuesday, March 5 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

The Boston Celtics look indomitable at the moment, and they’ll continue to put their form to the test on Tuesday night when they head to Cleveland to take on a stagnating Cavaliers side.

Will things turn around for the Cavs here at home, or are we heading for another Celtics master class?

Let’s get to our Celtics vs. Cavaliers pick and prediction.

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Celtics vs. Cavaliers Prediction

Pick: Celtics -7.5 (-115)

Celtics Betting Outlook

With the league’s top-rated offense and second-ranked defense since the start of February, it’s hard to say what could possibly slow this Celtics team down at the moment.

Injuries seem to be the only thing standing in their way at the moment after an impressive 11th straight win over the Warriors on Sunday. That’s certainly where our attention will turn here as we look to handicap this one.

Boston destroyed a solid Warriors team by 52 points over the weekend without Kristaps Porzingis, and the big man is once again in danger of missing this one, entering as questionable with a left quad contusion.

Jaylen Brown is also questionable with a knee contusion, though given the relatively minor nature of the injuries, there’s a good chance both of these players will suit up. It’ll still be worth keeping an eye on as we head toward opening tip.

The key factor here, as is the case on most nights for the Celtics, will be the 3-point line. They rank first in the NBA in shooting frequency from outside and inside the top five in accuracy, according to Cleaning the Glass.

Cleveland’s done a great job against the 3 this season but has really slipped in recent weeks, opening up a great matchup for Boston.

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Cavaliers Betting Outlook

Yes, the Cavaliers rank 12th against the 3 this season, according to Cleaning the Glass, but they’re all the way down in 20th since the start of February.

They had strung together two solid games in terms of defending the 3 before losing to the Knicks, who shot 41% from deep — proof that Cleveland’s sudden improvement was due to nothing more than running into a couple of bad shooting teams.

In that aforementioned loss, the Cavaliers were beaten down pretty convincingly but didn’t have Donovan Mitchell or Caris LeVert. Mitchell is once again out, while LeVert is questionable alongside Isaac Okoro. Max Strus is also out, and Tristan Thompson is still suspended.

As an interested observer of that loss to the Knicks, I can’t explain to you the importance of Sam Merrill’s seven 3-pointers. If not for that miraculous contribution, this would have been an ugly loss with Cleveland getting dominated on the glass and once again struggling to defend the perimeter.

Boston ranks fourth in 3-point defense this year and sits sixth since the start of February, so the chances of another miracle night from one of the Cavaliers’ guards are pretty slim.

Celtics vs. Cavaliers Picks, Odds

I think you could make the Celtics double-digit favorites here, and I’d still take them.

Cleveland is going to be lacking significantly on offense without Mitchell and Strus, and with Okoro popping up on the injury report, things really could get much worse.

This is a team that has taken a firm step back on defense over the last four games and has not defended the 3 well for the last few weeks.

Offensively, things look pretty bleak other than one outburst versus the Mavericks. This team was unable to put forth an inspired performance against the likes of the Pistons, Bulls, Wizards and a shorthanded Sixers team in recent weeks.

I don’t even really care if Brown and Porzingis miss this game; I’ll back the Celtics to continue rolling here.

On one side, Cleveland’s already in a rut and is now in danger of missing up to four significant pieces. On the other side, Boston has a matchup advantage everywhere you look.

Pick: Celtics -7.5 (-115)