Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#557 Cleveland Cavaliers vs.
#558 Boston Celtics
Monday, December 9, 2019 at 7:35pm EST
TD Garden, Boston
Written by Chris Kubala

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#557 Cleveland
#558 Boston
5-17
16-5
37-43-2
43-46-2
45-36-1
49-40-2
104
111
114
107

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A pair of Eastern Conference teams take the floor looking for a victory up in Beantown. The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the road as they travel to face the Boston Celtics Monday night. Cleveland was obliterated 141-94 on the road by Philadelphia Saturday night. Boston comes in off a 108-95 home win over Denver in their last game Friday night. The Celtics lead the all-time regular season series between the teams 130-80 and have won the last five meetings. That includes a 119-113 road win in the first matchup this season on November 5.

Cleveland Cavaliers Look to Halt Skid

Cleveland was pummeled on the road by the 76ers on Saturday night to suffer their sixth straight defeat. The Cavaliers enter this contest in the basement of the Central Division, 14.5 games behind the Bucks. On the season, Cleveland is tied for 13th in the Eastern Conference, six games behind the Magic for the final playoff spot. The Cavaliers were out of this one early as they trailed by 18 after the opening quarter and by 41 at the half. Cleveland trailed by as many as 53 in the second half as they were blasted. The Cavaliers shot 37.5 percent from the field, including nine of 35 from three-point range, and lost the rebounding battle 51-35. For good measure, Cleveland turned the ball over 18 times and allowed Philadelphia to shoot a blistering 63.3 percent from the floor. Darius Garland led the Cavaliers with 17 points in the loss.

The Cavaliers are 29th in the league in scoring this season with 102.9 points per game. Cleveland is 21st in rebounding with 43.6 caroms a night while the team stands 28th with 20.4 assists per contest. The Cavaliers are below average defensively, ranking 19th in scoring defense by allowing 113.2 points per game. Kevin Love is second on the team with 16.1 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per contest this year. Collin Sexton (team-high 17.7 points), Tristan Thompson (13.6 points, 10 rebounds) and Jordan Clarkson (13.5 points) are scoring in double figures on the year. Larry Nance Jr. (10.1 points, 7.4 rebounds), Cedi Osman, Darius Garland (11 points) and Kevin Porter Jr. are key pieces of the rotation for the Cavaliers. Cleveland is 28th in the league by shooting 43.2 percent from the field. The Cavaliers are tied for 21st in the league in made threes with 10.7 triples a night while ranking 26th in three-point shooting by shooting 33.5 percent from downtown.

Boston Celtics Try to Maintain Atlantic Division Edge

Boston earned their third straight win and their fifth triumph in the last six games as they took care of business against the Nuggets at home. The Celtics entered Sunday with a one-game lead in the Atlantic Division over both the Raptors and 76ers. Boston jumped on the Nuggets early, taking a 33-26 lead after the opening quarter. The Celtics led by eight at the half and took advantage of the tired Nuggets, who were playing the second game of a back to back, as they held a 32-19 edge in the third quarter to go up 21. Boston withstood Denver’s attempts to rally in order to secure the win. The Celtics shot 53.7 percent from the field, including 13 of 35 from three-point range, and held Denver to 41.7 percent shooting. Jayson Tatum led Boston with 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the win.

The Celtics enter this contest ranked 15th in the league in scoring offense with an average of 110.7 points per game this season. Boston is 10th in rebounding by pulling down 46.1 rebounds per contest and stand 19th in assists with 23.4 dimes per game. On the season, Boston is third in the league in scoring defense by allowing 103.5 points per contest. The Celtics are led offensively by Kemba Walker, who puts up 21.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and five assists per game on the year. Jayson Tatum puts up 21.2 points plus seven boards a night while Jaylen Brown (20 points, 6.9 rebounds), Gordon Hayward (18.9 points, 7.3 boards) and Marcus Smart (11.8 points, 4.6 assists) are solid contributors offensively. Boston is tied for 22nd in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 44.5 percent from the floor as a team on the year. The Celtics are tied for 14th in three-pointers per game as they drain 12.2 triples per night while they rank 21st by hitting 34.9 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. Hayward fractured his left hand November 9 against the Spurs: he practiced Sunday and has yet to be ruled out for this contest.

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Cleveland was trampled by Philadelphia Saturday night and there continues to be a ton of problems surrounding the team. Porter Jr. was the latest Cavalier to be roasted as he posed after a dunk with the team down by a truckload. Boston has some momentum with three straight wins and they play extremely well at home this season. The Celtics look like they will get Hayward back in the near future and they have a deep rotation to work with for Brad Stevens. Cleveland is 2-8 on the road while Boston is 9-0 at home. The Celtics should win this one rather easily.

 

Prediction: Boston Celtics -13.5

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One thing we saw Saturday night is that Cleveland can be absolutely putrid on the road against good teams. The Cavaliers trailed by 41 at the half, giving up 77 first half points in the loss. Cleveland gives up 114.1 ppg on the road this season while scoring an average of 101 ppg after Saturday's pasting. Boston puts up 114.7 ppg at home this season while allowing 105.8 ppg in those contests. With Cleveland losing six straight games coming into this one, can the Celtics bury them early and roll to a victory?

The over is 4-0 in the Cavaliers' last 4 road games, 8-1 in their last 9 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600 and 7-1 in their last eight games on Monday. Boston has seen the over go 4-1 in their last five against teams with a losing record. The teams have gone over in four of their last five meetings. With Cleveland struggling defensively, the Celtics should get plenty of offense to help push this over the number.

Prediction: Over 216

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Boston comes into this contest 12th in the league with a +1.6 ppg scoring differential in the opening half of games this season. On the flip side of that equation, the Cavaliers are dead last in the league with a -8.8 ppg scoring differential in the first half on the year. Cleveland's numbers are even worse on the road as they are outscored by 10.4 points per game in the first half this season. Give Boston the upper hand in this contest as they should have a major advantage.

Prediction: Boston Celtics

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Boston is tied for 26th in scoring defense as they put up 52.4 ppg in the first half of games this season. The Celtics lead the league in first half scoring defense by allowing 50.9 ppg this season. That puts the average first half for Boston at 103.3 ppg on the year. Cleveland comes in dead last in the league in first half scoring as they muster 48.9 ppg this season. The Cavaliers are 25th in first half scoring defense by allowing 57.7 ppg this year. That puts the average first half for Cleveland at 106.6 ppg. Seeing the way Cleveland is giving up points and the talent Boston has, this one ends up over the mark.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.