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The Lede: Cavs Crumbling

James with a dissatisfied look on his face
By Keith Allison (flickr)

Don’t have time to read through 1,000 words, but need some informed betting tips? Here’s a quick rundown on today’s biggest sports story, and how it impacts the way you should bet. Miss the last one? See it here.

Cavaliers Fall from Top-Spot in the Eastern Conference

After losing three of their last four, the Cavaliers have allowed the Boston Celtics to displace them in the Eastern Conference standings. Cleveland was pounded by San Antonio last night (103-74), moving their record to 6-9 in the month of March. LeBron James and co. now sit a half game back of the Celtics in the East.

If that record isn’t concerning enough for Cavs faithful, then who they have lost to will certainly help set the doubt in. Cleveland has dropped games to Miami (twice), Detroit, Denver, and Washington, while getting blown out by Boston, LAC, and San Antonio.

James and the Cavs have one more game against Boston this season, and finish the regular season at home against Toronto. In their other seven games, the reigning back-to-back Eastern Conference champs will not see a team currently more than a game above .500. Unfortunately, the Celtics remaining schedule is even easier.

With desperation beginning to sink in, now is the time to bet on the Cavs. James is still the best player in basketball, and will use the weaker opponents over the next four games to rediscover that. But they are showing to be too vulnerable to have much confidence come the playoffs. Betting Cleveland to win the East still won’t have much value, and the West is too strong.

Another interesting betting angle here will be how Toronto and Washington choose to play their last handful of games. I don’t see either team starting to tank for the four-seed, in hopes of avoiding Cleveland in the second-round of the playoffs. Playing your best basketball and entering the playoffs strong is much more valuable than worrying about matchups.

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