Celtics Open As Underdogs Vs Cavs In Eastern Conference Finals
The Boston Celtics will have home court advantage against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals, but LeBron James and co. have opened as favorites to advance.
Following the Celtics' 114-112 Game 5 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers last night, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook listed the Cavs as a minus-275 favorite over the Celtics, though that number has dropped to -250 at some books. Both teams were underdogs in the Conference Semifinals but that didn't stop either franchise from making light work their opponents as the Cavs swept the Raptors in four games and the Cs disposed the Sixers in five. Heading in to Game 1 the ECF on Sunday afternoon, the Cavs are 1-point favorites.
So far this post-season, LeBron James is averaging 34.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 9 assists per game. The Cavs are looking to reach the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive season, and LeBron is on track for his eighth straight trip. According to ESPN, he has faced the Celtics six times in the playfs, winning the past four series and six straight postseason road games in Boston.
The Celtics were in this position against the Cavs last season when they were eliminated in five games, but their roster looks much, much different this time around. Boston returns only four players from last season's roster - Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart - and they're without All-Star acquisitions Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.
Game 1 the Eastern Conference Finals is scheduled to tipf at 3:30pm ET this Sunday, 5/13, at the TD Garden in Boston. That game will air on ABC.