Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics: Game 5 Odds, Analysis, NBA Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistMay 25, 2017

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) walks up the floor against the Boston Celtics during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

The top-seeded Boston Celtics are on the brink of elimination as they host the second-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers as big home underdogs for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday.

Regardless of how this series turns out, the Celtics have played inspired the last two games without injured point guard Isaiah Thomas, splitting them and covering the spread both times on the Vegas odds.

        

Point spread: The Cavaliers opened as 8.5-point favorites; the total is at 214.5, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NBA betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 121.6-95.1, Cavaliers (NBA picks on every game)

         

Why the Celtics can cover the spread

Boston may be playing its last home game here, but the fans should be fully behind the team in an effort to stretch the series by sending it back to Cleveland.

The Celtics have lost 12 of the past 15 meetings with the Cavaliers straight up, but they are 8-6-1 against the spread in those games.

Many of those matches were played with Thomas on the court, but Marcus Smart has the potential to bounce back from a horrific Game 4 performance in which he scored just eight points on 1-of-9 shooting.

Smart led Boston with 27 points in the team's 111-108 Game 3 upset.

          

Why the Cavaliers can cover the spread

Cleveland does not want to give the Golden State Warriors too much of an advantage in the NBA Finals, assuming they meet for a third consecutive time.

The Warriors already have the home-court edge and will be more well-rested after sweeping the San Antonio Spurs on Monday.

The Cavaliers simply need to pick up where they left off in the second half of Game 4, when they outscored the Celtics 65-42 after trailing by 10 points at the break.

Cleveland's Kyrie Irving took advantage of Smart defensively with a career playoff high 42 points, while LeBron James added 34 points even though he was in foul trouble.

         

Smart betting pick

Boston already pulled off one shocker in this series, so expecting another is a lot to ask. That said, the Celtics have played their best this postseason when critics have counted them out.

With their backs against the wall, bettors should expect the best from Boston on its home court. It may not be enough to win again SU, but covering for the third straight time versus the Cavs is doable for the Celts in this spot.

        

NBA betting trends

The total has gone over in 14 of Cleveland's last 20 games.

Cleveland is 5-0-2 ATS in its last seven games on the road.

Boston is 11-4 ATS in its last 15 games.

       

All NBA lines and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.

Related

    Should the Clippers Go All-In at the Deadline?

    Having PG and Kawhi isn't enough to take home a title

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Should the Clippers Go All-In at the Deadline?

    Eric Pincus
    via Bleacher Report

    KAT Says He's Committed to Timberwolves Despite Trade Rumors

    'I'm here to be a Minnesota Timberwolf. ... I'm not worried about all that nonsense'

    NBA logo
    NBA

    KAT Says He's Committed to Timberwolves Despite Trade Rumors

    Blake Schuster
    via Bleacher Report

    How Luka Dominates in the Paint

    Breaking down Doncic's tricks that get him to the rim

    NBA logo
    NBA

    How Luka Dominates in the Paint

    Will Gottlieb
    via Bleacher Report

    NBA Jam Bestseller Back in Stock 🔥

    Grab your own NBA Jam cover art long sleeve right here!

    NBA logo
    NBA

    NBA Jam Bestseller Back in Stock 🔥

    B/R SHOP
    via B/R SHOP