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Cavaliers vs Celtics Odds, Picks and Predictions

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NBA Basketball

Updated Dec 21, 2021 · 5:39 PM PST

Darius Garland dribbling
Dec 3, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (10) stands on the court durning the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers ride a six-game win streak into Boston against the Celtics
  • Jarrett Allen, Isaac Okoro and rookie Evan Mobley are all out due to COVID protocols
  • The odds and matchups can be found below with a prediction

After so many dreadful seasons, it appears the Cleveland Cavaliers might have turned the corner and have a roster with some staying power.

Their next test? Like so many teams around the league, it’s surviving a stretch of COVID sidelining their key guys.

The Cavaliers are in Boston to take on the Celtics, arriving as the hottest teams in basketball, ripping off six straight wins and 10 of their last 12.

Boston stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown good to go, but their depth is shelved with health and safety protocols. They’ve dropped five of their last seven but are still listed as 4.5-point favorites at home.

The game is scheduled Wednesday night at TD Garden, with tip-off set for 7:30pm ET. You can watch it live on NBA League Pass.

Cavaliers vs Celtics Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Cleveland Cavaliers +170 +4.5 (-110) OFF
Boston Celtics -200 -4.5 (-110) OFF

Odds as of Dec 21 at DraftKings

Cavaliers’ Outlook

This might be the most impressive stretch of Cleveland basketball that hasn’t involved LeBron James.

The Cavaliers, who won all of 22 games a season ago, improved to 19-12 and alone in third in the East with a 119-90 whipping of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Darius Garland led the way with 22 points on a crisp 10-for-13 shooting. Cleveland shot 50% from the field, drilled 16 3-pointers and dished out 36 assists.

Ready for a stat? This is the 10th straight win the Cavaliers have won by 10 or more points, and they’ve won by double digits 13 times already this season, which is the third-best mark in the league.

There are definite asterisks, though, like Milwaukee having all their starters out due to COVID. And in every marquee win during this run, the opponent wasn’t full strength.

That includes a pair of W’s over Miami with no Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayao and a win over the Bulls who were without DeMar DeRozan.

Cleveland has their own COVID issues to deal with going forward. Super rook Evan Mobley missed the Milwaukee game, and he’ll be out along with fellow starters Isaac Okoro and Jarrett Allen, part of nine Cavs in health and safety protocols.

Allen, in particular, is having a huge year, which should garner votes for NBA Most Improved Player, alongside Mobley, the current favorite for NBA Rookie of the year. The sixth-year big is averaging 16.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks on the season.

Celtics Outlook

Boston just can’t seem to catch a break. Offseason pickup Josh Richardson finally started showing the skills that made him one of the top two-way wings in basketball when he was with the Heat, scoring a season-high 27 points as the C’s beat the Knicks.

Any momentum stalled when he was hit with COVID, forcing him to the sidelines against the team he played with last year, and Boston fell to the Philadelphia 76ers 108-103.

Joel Embiid was unstoppable, dropping 41 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, two dimes and four blocks in one of his best efforts of the campaign. Of course, that was helped by Boston’s frontline thinned due to COVID.

That included forward Grant Williams, Al Horford and Juancho Hernangomez, who won’t be returning until at least Christmas at the earliest. Robert Williams also missed the Philly game for personal reasons, and he’s been ruled out for Wednesday.

Brown led the way offensively for Boston, scoring 30 points, with five rebounds and four assists. Tatum had 17 points on 5-for-14 shooting in his 39 minutes of work.

Cavaliers vs Celtics Pick

This will be the third meeting between these teams, with each earning a previous win — but with so much roster flux, there’s very little you can glean from those performances for Wednesday’s head-to-head.

Garland and Lauri Markkanen will be the only starters available, and Cleveland’s depth and next guys up — including  Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and Cedi Osman — will go a long way in determining if they get to a seventh straight win.

In contests like this, go with star power. Tatum and Brown are far and away the best players on the floor, and assuming they show up, they should lead Boston to a much-needed win.

Even then, they’re not winning by more than five points.

The Pick: Cavaliers +4.5 (-110)

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