Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart
Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart (36) drives between Cleveland Cavaliers' Cedi Osman (16) and Darius Garland (10) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CAVALIERS VS CELTICS, DEC. 22

Kyle Barrette

Thanks to the Suns we have now cashed our seventh in a row. Onto today’s top play where I’d like to make it eight in a row. This matchup is an interesting one as the Cavs are taking their turn on the COVID carousel. Boston has some guys out in protocols as well, but not nearly as impactful as Cleveland’s. So, is this the end of Cleveland’s streak, and can Boston right the ship and beat a potential playoff contender? Let’s break it down and find out. 

Cavs
By now, we all know the Cavs have a few hot streaks coming into this matchup. By putting them as this big of an underdog, it would be a bigger concern if this were injury related and not COVID related. Bookmakers have been struggling to get sharp lines down with the number of players that have been put into protocols. The Cavs have played a few games without some of the players that have already been in the protocol and the results have remained the same. Things are getting a little more interesting now that Allen and Davis have been added to the list. Love is looking like he will move to the center spot, possibly limiting some of his outside shooting. The main thing here is that the defense should remain close to what it has been. I know the Bucks were missing a good number of players, but the Cavs did beat them by 29 with almost the same lineup they were going to be putting on the floor tonight.

Boston
It still kind of feels like the Celtics are trying to find their way. They are sitting one game under .500 and just alternating wins and losses at this point. For the most part, the games the Celtics have won have been close games. They beat a stripped-down Knicks team, that was far worse than the version of the Cavs they are going to see tonight, by seven. They also played a pretty bad game against a Sixers team who had been playing average basketball and even worse on the road, a game where Boston was a three-point favorite and lost outright by five. Looking deeper into it, the Cavs come into this game off a postponed game with the Hawks and have been on four days of rest with plenty of time to prepare for this matchup. Boston, on the other hand, just got beat by a Sixers team they struggled offensively against and will face a similar defense here. The Celtics are also dealing with this being the last game of their home stand and then having a big Christmas Day Road matchup with the Bucks, so the look ahead factor is in full effect here. 

Cavs vs. Celtics Prediction: Cavs +6.5
The guys filling in for the Cavs are guys that have gotten a lot of minutes and are the same guys that have come off the bench helping this team get to where they are now throughout the whole season. I don’t expect a whole lot to change with this Cavs team tonight. The look ahead factor might play a role tonight as the Celtics will be on the road for Christmas. I don’t think the Cavs will pull off the win, but I do think they can cover with this many points. Take the Cavaliers +6.5.

Same Game Parlay
Cleveland Cavaliers +6.5, Jayson Tatum First Basket, Darius Garland Over 20.5 Pts, Marcus Smart Over 5.5 Assists and Celtics to win by 1-10 Pts.

SGP Odds +10310

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