Celtics vs. Cavaliers prediction, player props and best bets against the spread and moneyline

Hoops fans and bettors alike will get a special treat Tuesday evening, as the NBA-leading Celtics face off against the conference-rival Cavaliers. Today we will dive into the odds for this clash of titans, and share our best bets, top props and final score prediction.

Boston and Cleveland have combined to go 48-14 since Christmas, but somebody has to win this game. Green-teamers will be confident in their squad, which has won 11 consecutive games, sports a 29-3 record at TD Garden, and just blew the doors off Stephen Curry and the Warriors 140-88 in a 2022 Finals rematch.

The Cavs, meanwhile, have started to hit the skids. They’re just 5-5 over their past 10 contests, and both MVP candidate Donovan Mitchell (knee) and Sixth Man of the Year hopeful Caris LeVert (elbow) missed Sunday’s loss to the equally undermanned Knicks. Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis, quietly the key to Boston’s pursuit of Banner 18, is day-to-day with a quad issue.

Will the Celts continue to roll at home and easily dispose of the banged-up Cavs? Or, will J.B. Bickerstaff’s always-pesky squad mount its third win over Boston since October 2022? Let’s get to the odds for the Celtics vs. Cavaliers and unveil our best bets from BetMGM.

Celtics vs. Cavaliers points spread and moneyline

All odds and props are from BetMGM, an authorized gaming operator of the NBA.

  • ATS: Celtics -7.5 (-110) | Cavaliers +7.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Celtics -300 | Cavaliers +280
  • Over/under: O 227.5 (-110) | U 227.5 (-110)

To nobody’s surprise, the red-hot Celtics opened as big favorites. They have won 11 games in a row, 29 of their 32 games at home, and they’ve dropped 278 points over their past two games against the Mavericks and Warriors. The Cavs, meanwhile, have gone 1-8 against the spread over their nine games.

Cleveland potentially being without Donovan Mitchell and Caris LeVert for a second consecutive game could be perilous. The Cavs have lost three of their past last four games without Mitchell active, and they’re just 13-13 without him since he joined the team in 2021.

These guys have been Celtics killers over the past two seasons — Mitchell has averaged over 35 points per game against Boston the past three seasons, while LeVert has averaged over 18 points per game against the C’s primarily off the bench.

Celtics vs. Cavaliers predictions, best bets

More than just nine games separates the Celtics and Cavaliers. Boston is enjoying the longest winning streak of the 2023-24 NBA season, and it doesn’t show many signs of slowing down.

We’ve never seen sustained stretches of outside shooting like the Celtics have exhibited this season. They’re shooting 39.9 percent from three-point land at home. March seems to be bringing even more luck, as the Green has shot a blistering 23-of-46 from distance over its two games this calendar month.

That’s no bueno for the Cavs, who just surrendered 16 triples in a home loss to the Knicks.

Boston’s blowing away playoff teams like Dallas and Golden State. How can we expect the Cavs to keep up with the Celts if Mitchell’s out or not at full strength? It’s too tall an order for a squad that has split its past 10 games 50-50, including two losses to the Joel Embiid-less Sixers and Ls to the Bulls and Magic.

We do like the Celtics’ team under, as the projected total seems to be based more on recent results and less on the Cavs’ defensive abilities with both Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley manning the interior.

Cleveland is typically pretty good at defending the three and cleaning up the glass — and this unit always plays Boston tough — so we like Bickerstaff’s squad to at least keep this a relatively decent ballgame until the final frame. Look for the Cavs to hold the C’s to under 118 for the 10th time in 12 meetings, but wind up narrowly missing the cover for the ninth time in 10 games.

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Celtics 117, Cavaliers 106 — The Celtics win (-450) and cover (-7.5), with the score going UNDER the total (227.5)

Celtics vs. Cavaliers: Top player prop bet

Jaylen Brown points — OVER 23.5 (-115)

Brown has been on a tear as of late, exploding for 28.8 points per game over Boston’s past four contests. He has also averaged 27.8 PPG over his past 11 games against Cleveland dating back to 2019-20. This isn’t a spot for a banged-up Kristaps Porzingis to take on high usage against the twin towers of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen — this is a Brown and Tatum game through and through. Smash the OVER, and root for JB’s continued success against Cleveland.

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