Boston (0-0) at Cleveland (0-0)
When: Tuesday, October 17th 2017
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: TNT
Opening Odds: Cleveland -4/216.5
The Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers will tip-off the 2017-18 NBA season with revamped rosters as they both try and get back to the Eastern Conference Finals. Kyrie Irving will make his Celtics debut in a building where he played six seasons but requested a trade in the offseason and ended up in Boston for a package that included point guard Isaiah Thomas and forward Jae Crowder. The four-time All-Star guard helped Cleveland reach three NBA Finals – including winning the 2016 title – but reportedly tired of playing with forward LeBron James. Irving helped the Cavaliers route the Celtics in last season’s Eastern Conference finals and Cleveland’s new roster includes veteran guards Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose and Jose Calderon in addition to newcomers Thomas and Crowder. James has been bothered by a sprained left ankle and his availability may not be determined until game time. The Cavaliers went 3-1 in the regular season against the Celtics last year before winning the Eastern Conference finals in five games.
Irving wasn’t the lone offseason acquisition for the Celtics. Boston lured All-Star small forward Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz) with a four-year, $128 million deal. The move to Boston allows Hayward to reunite with Brad Stevens, his former college coach at Butler. Hayward had a solid season in 2016-17 with averages of 21.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Veteran post player Al Horford, second-year swingman Jaylen Brown and rookie forward Jayson Tatum are the other likely starters, with Tatum drawing the assignment of guarding James in his NBA debut.
James missed four of Cleveland’s five preseason games but he did participate in Monday’s practice, which consisted of shooting drills and a walk-through. Thomas may not make his Cleveland debut until around the All-Star break, so veterans like Rose, Wade and J.R. Smith will be asked to help James and center Kevin Love on the scoring side. Cleveland is 4-23 over the past three seasons when James doesn’t play, including 11 consecutive losses. Cleveland will have two days off prior to their first road game in Milwaukee on Friday.
I fully expect James to play in the opener against Irving. He won’t want to miss that opportunity. Cleveland has a lot of veterans, but all of whom should be fresh early in the season. I like the Cavaliers at home in this one as long as LeBron plays.
Pick: Cavaliers -3.5
- Celtics are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up win.
- Celtics are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 road games.
- Celtics are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Celtics are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Celtics are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games overall.
- Celtics are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Cavaliers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
- Cavaliers are 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up win.
- Cavaliers are 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Cavaliers are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS win.
- Cavaliers are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 vs. NBA Atlantic.
- Cavaliers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Tuesday games.
- Cavaliers are 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Cavaliers are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Cavaliers are 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Cavaliers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games.
- Over is 7-1 in Celtics last 8 Tuesday games.
- Under is 15-5-2 in Celtics last 22 road games.
- Over is 9-4 in Celtics last 13 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
- Over is 4-0 in Cavaliers last 4 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Over is 20-6 in Cavaliers last 26 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Over is 3-1-1 in Cavaliers last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
- Over is 20-7-1 in Cavaliers last 28 home games.
- Over is 14-5 in Cavaliers last 19 games following a straight up win.
- Over is 8-3 in Cavaliers last 11 Tuesday games.
- Over is 37-16-1 in Cavaliers last 54 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Over is 15-7-1 in Cavaliers last 23 vs. NBA Atlantic.
- Over is 34-16-1 in Cavaliers last 51 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Over is 34-16-1 in Cavaliers last 51 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Over is 40-19-1 in Cavaliers last 60 overall.
- Celtics are 3-0-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings in Cleveland.
- Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Cleveland.
- Road team is 12-3-1 ATS in the last 16 meetings.