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Playoff NBA Picks – Rundown For Saturday, May 1st

Posted by Craig Parsons on 4/30/2010 2:16:17 PM

Game 1: Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers

Playoff NBA Odds: Cavaliers -7

Online betting players have just one game to deal with on Saturday night at 8:00 PM ET, but it’ll be a good one as the fourth-seeded Celtics head to Cleveland to face the top-seeded Cavaliers, whose star player is injured, but not injured enough to prevent a Game 1 victory for the home team.

Many thought that the Celtics were aging and that they would be pushed to the limit by the Heat, and maybe even that they would lose the series.  However, the incident at the end of Game 1 between Kevin Garnett and Miami’s Quentin Richardson, for which Garnett received a one-game suspension for an elbow, seemed to wake up the Celtics.  Indeed, if it wasn’t for a Herculean effort by Dwyane Wade in Game 4, the Celtics would have swept the Heat in four, but instead, they ended up with a five-game series win.  Paul Pierce led the team with 19.6 points, and his game-winner in Game 3 may have been the nail in the coffin despite the Game 4 loss.  Ray Allen shot 52.4% from the floor, and 52.8% from the three-point line, while Garnett added grit, and Rajon Rondo did a little bit of everything.  NBA betting players didn’t expect the Celtics to come back with the fire that they had, and while they’ll be behind the eight-ball in this series, you can bet that Boston won’t go down without a fight, literally.

LeBron James showed why he is the sportsbook favorite for his second straight MVP, and the Cavaliers are the favorites for the title with a spectacular performance in Cleveland’s five-game romp over Chicago.  James put up 31.8 points, 9.2 boards, 8.2 assists, 2.4 blocks and 1.2 steals, and his Game 4 triple-double (punctuated with a jumper from just inside halfcourt to end the third quarter) was his way of saying, “there is no way Chicago is coming back in this series”.  Antawn Jamison was next with 19.4 points, while Mo Williams put up 15.6 points and shot 39.4% from three-point land (did we mention that James shot 54.2% from long distance?).  Cleveland fans were a bit worried to see James fall on his elbow in the final game of the series, and he even shot his last free throw with his uninjured left hand because he couldn’t raise his right arm.  The injury has been diagnosed as a bone bruise and an elbow strain, but James will be fine for this contest, which automatically makes Cleveland the favorites.

The Cavaliers are 7-point favorites at home, where they have beaten the Celtics in nine of their last 10 meetings.  On three occasions, Cleveland was favored by seven or more points at home against the Celtics, winning two of those games, and they have covered the spread in seven of their last 10 home games against the Celtics overall.  This is sure to be a physical series, especially on Boston’s end as they don’t have as much talent as the Cavaliers, and they’ll try to get Cleveland off their game.  The Cavaliers have to get off to a fast start in this game and show that they won’t be pushed around.  Sure, the Celtics won one of their trips to Cleveland this year, in their season opener, but that was the first game of the year when the Cavaliers were still trying to fit Shaquille O’Neal into the lineup.  The Cavaliers avenged that loss later in the season, and they’re the best home team in the country.  This sports betting win goes to the Cavaliers.

Playoffs NBA Picks: Cleveland -7

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