The Cleveland Cavaliers are having a lot more trouble than expected getting past the Boston Celtics in their Eastern Conference playoff series. NBA Playoffs betting fans have seen LeBron James playing well but the best player in the series has been Boston guard Rajon Rondo. He dominated Game 4 as the Celtics won 97-87 to even the best-of-seven series at two games each. Rondo had a triple-double as he scored 29 points, pulled down 18 rebounds and handed out 13 assists. If the Cavaliers are to win this series as expected, they are going to need LeBron to step up his game and they need to find a way to slow down Rondo.
LeBron has said that he wants to guard Rondo in Game 5 but that strategy may not work. Paul Pierce has been shutdown by James and it is also very questionable whether James could keep up with Rondo but James wants to give it a try. “It’s something that we should explore,’’ said James, “Because Rondo is definitely dominating the series at the point guard position.” The problem for Cleveland is that if James guards Rondo there is no one to guard Pierce. And Pierce does whatever it takes for the team to win. “I’m at the point in my career where it don’t matter who gets the credit on this team,’’ Pierce said. “It’s about winning games. At the end of the game, when my legacy is put up in the air, it’s going to be like, ‘What did he do for his team?’ A lot of individual things I have done, but it’s about winning games, winning championships. If it’s going to be me getting 9 points, a couple of rebounds, a key charge or key rebound, that’s fine with me.’’
NBA betting stats show that Boston has been a solid team in the playoffs when they are getting points. The Celtics are 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 playoff games as an underdog.
The Celtics are 2-7 ATS in the last 9 meetings in Cleveland. Cleveland has had their troubles at home recently covering the spread in the basketball odds. The Cavaliers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games as a home favorite.
Looking at the total, the Under is 6-2 in the Celtics last 8 Conference Semifinals games and the Under is 19-7 in the Cavaliers last 26 Conference Semifinals games.