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2010 NBA Playoff Picks – Celtics vs. Cavaliers

NBA Betting – Series Picks – Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers

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Boston vs. Cleveland Series Betting Odds:
Celtics +120
Cavaliers -475


BOSTON (4) vs. CLEVELAND (1) Playoff Schedule

Game 1. Saturday May 1 at Cleveland 8:00pm ET
Game 2. Monday May 3 at Cleveland 8:00pm ET
Game 3. Friday, May 7 at Boston 7:00pm ET
Game 4. Sunday May 9 at Boston 3:30pm ET
Game 5. Tuesday May 11 at Cleveland TBD
Game 6. Thursday May 13 at Boston TBD
Game 7. Sunday May 16 at Cleveland 3:30pm ET

Does anything matter except the status of LeBron’s achy right elbow? Maybe, but if James is healthy it appears pretty certain that the Cavaliers will grind down the Celtics over the course of a 6- or 7-game series. If he’s not, then it’s game on.

The Celtics defensed their way to their 17th world championship a few seasons ago, and their ability to win games against teams whose offense comes from one superstar was a huge factor. Boston harassed James into poor shooting in Games 1 and 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series that went seven games. The Celtics then did the same thing to Kobe Bryant in the Finals.

This season Boston was able to dispatch the Dwyane Wade-led Heat in five games.

Some other factors to consider: The pace of the games – With just about every possession running through James, the Cavaliers prefer to walk the ball up the court rather than pushing the tempo and letting other players make decisions at warp speed. Problem is, the Celtics play their best defense when allowed to settle in and then swarm and forced jump shots when the shot clock reaches single digits.

The Celtics are healthy: Old, yes, but as healthy as they have been all year and about as healthy as they are going to get. Kevin Garnett is still not at his full explosive self after experiencing knee problems for two straight seasons, but chances are he never again will be the Garnett of 2008. Paul Pierce has to score because starters Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo are offensive liabilities.

Cavalier bigs could cause Boston serious problems: Shaq will keep Perkins occupied enough to prevent double-teams, but the real concern for Boston is Anderson Varajao. The Celtics have problems with active bigs, and Varajao never stops moving. Cleveland also gives big minutes to Zdrunas Ilgauskas and Antawn Jamison, while Boston can counter only with Glen Davis and the lazy Rasheed Wallace.

Celtics vs. Cavs Prediction: Cavs in 6

The series prices have yet to be determined as books wait for word on James’s ailing elbow. (Bookmaker.com has released odds) But Cleveland remains a prohibitive 1-2 favorite to win the Eastern Conference while Boston is at 17-2. Bettors should take a hard look at the under in the first two games, in Cleveland, if the O/U is set in the 180+ range.

These first two games of the 2008 series in Boston both went under. Oddsmakers set the O/U at 181.5 for Game 1, and by Game 7 the number had melted to 173.

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Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling and travel expert from Massachusetts.


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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!