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The Cleveland Cavaliers knocked off the Boston Celtics in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals and they did so with Kevin Love missing most of the game. Love played just 5:02 in the game before leaving after bumping heads with Jayson Tatum. Love is listed as questionable for game seven with a concussion and even with the news that he might miss the game, early money has come in on the Cavaliers and I don’t agree with that at all.
The Cavaliers have shown nothing at all that would state they could win here in Boston. They have lost all three games at this venue in this series by 13, 13 and 25 points respectively and that was with Kevin Love playing. Love has averaged 17.7 ppg and 10.0 rpg in the three games in Boston in this series and Cleveland still lost each game by at least 13 points. One of the reasons that money is coming in on the Cavaliers is because of Lebron who had his 7th 40-point game of the postseason the year and he has averaged 37.0 ppg in games where he has faced elimination in his career.
Having said that, I still don’t feel like the money coming in on the Cavaliers is warranted regardless if Kevin Love were to play. We do note that the Cavaliers were 13-11 straight-up this year when Kevin Love played five minutes or fewer in a game, but they were also just 9-15 ATS in those games. The Cavs were 37-21 straight-up and 23-34-1 ATS when he played more than five minutes during the regular season, so they were even worse ATS when he was on the floor during the regular season. The Cavs were not a good team ATS all year as they were 32-49-1 ATS during the regular season, so this is a team that has been overvalued many times and I feel that seeing Boston as just 1.5 points favorites in game seven is another indication that the Cavs are being overvalued.
If you ask me, the Celtics are really being under-valued in the postseason overall, especially at home. They have gone 10-0 straight-up and ATS at home in the postseason and have yet to be favored by more than five points in any of those games and they have been favored by 1.5 or less or have been a dog in their last six straight here at home. Cleveland was the 5th ranked scoring team in the league during the regular season and yet they have averaged just 86.7 ppg in their three games here at the Garden in this series. Lebron is a beast, but his supporting cast is not really there and it hasn’t been at this venue as he has averaged 27.7 ppg in the three games here and yet they were blown out in all three games.
In closing, I feel that the Cavaliers are a bit over-valued in this game and that is because of how well Lebron has played in elimination games in his career. Cleveland was seven point dogs in their two games at Toronto and the Celtics are better than the Raptors. I really feel that the Celtics have been under-valued all through the playoffs. Remember, they were home dogs against the Sixers in their first two games of that series and they wound up taking out the hottest team in the league in five games. For me, I do like the Celtics in this one, even if Kevin Love plays for the Cavaliers. Boston has been strong at home in the postseason and the Cavaliers have gone 3-5 ATS on the road in the postseason. Give me Boston all night in this one.