Cleveland will certainly adjust tactically for Game 2, but I think Brad Stevens will be ready for those adjustments and pre-emptively prep for them. Despite LeBron James' skill and motivation in this game, I expect Boston to edge them out with overall talent and preparation. I'm taking the home team to go up 2-0.
6-3 IN LAST 9 NBA PICKS | +299
There's already been more than a basket's worth of adjustment on the spread for Game 2 between the Celtics and Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday. In my view, this isn't nearly enough. The public will surely favor a "bounce-back" angle on the Cavaliers, who must win at least one game at TD Garden in order to prevail in the series. But this team has yet to show immediate resolve following adversity in the playoffs. I think Cleveland will be more competitive, but will head home facing a two-game deficit.
18-8 IN LAST 26 NBA ATS PICKS | +961
The Warriors are ultra-switchable and can put a capable defender on Chris Paul and James Harden regardless of what offense Houston runs. If James Harden settles to step-back threes in Game 1, it won't be enough to beat a Warriors team that will cut them to death on the end side of the court. Kevin Durant and Steph Curry are simply too good, and they'll prove it here. Warriors take Game 1.
The Celtics are undefeated at home in the playoffs, but oddsmakers still appear hesitant to give them respect, as the spread in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals suggests. LeBron James and the Cavaliers have covered in five of their past six trips to Boston, but this club is 0-5 ATS when playing on three or more days of rest. They made a statement with their sweep of the Raptors, but look for them to still have a bit of a celebratory haze Sunday. Boston takes advantage and goes up 1-0 in the series.
We're taking the worst of a number that has flipped by a basket since Boston opened as a slight underdog and is now a short chalk. Even though this is less than ideal, the money is moving in the correct direction. The 76ers were fortunate to avoid a sweep and it's clear that, despite their edge in talent over Boston's injury-depleted roster, they are a bit away from the maturity needed to win in the postseason. The Celtics are well aware of the perils of letting Philadelphia extend the series -- this is why they will end it Wednesday.
11-3 IN LAST 14 NBA ATS PICKS | +785
In partnership with...