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Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics Game 5: Picks, Predictions, Odds and Player Props

You can’t fault the Cleveland Cavaliers effort.

Down both Jarrett Allen and Donovan Mitchell for Game 4, it would have been all too easy to throw in the towel early against the Boston Celtics. Instead, they pushed them deep into clutch time, making Boston earn the victory in the final minutes of action.

With Mitchell and Allen’s status still unknown, Cleveland is in for an even steeper climb to make things interesting in Game 5. I have my eyes on two picks as the Celtics get their first chance at a close-out game back in Boston.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics Game 5 betting picks and predictions

Cavaliers +15.5 (-110)

As impressive as the Cavaliers have been in making this a reasonably competitive series, the opposite is true of the Celtics.

Boston entered the playoffs with the NBA’s best offense of all-time, a starting five of wall-to-wall All-Star caliber players, and a hellacious, shapeshifting defense. For all those on paper credentials, they’ve been something much less than that in practice.

The Cavaliers had no business winning a game in this series, yet they won Game 2 in a blowout rout. That wasn’t just a result of shooting variance either. The Cavaliers dominated Boston inside the arc on both ends, with Evan Mobley flashing the franchise star upside that remains key to Cleveland’s future.

The Cavs also had no business hanging around against Boston on Monday night without arguably their two best players in Mitchell and Allen. Yet they made the Celtics play it out to the bitter end because Boston can’t get out of its own way.

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum combined for nine turnovers in Game 4, which is just a sign of a lack of focus. With the spread extending to 15.5 in Game 5, it’s hard for me to believe that the Celtics are going to suddenly take care of business.

For a team with so much playoff success, they have continually underperformed at home over the last few seasons. Boston is just 13-15 against the spread at home in the playoffs since 2021-22.

The Cavaliers have shown enough life playing small around Mobley that I think they can blacken Boston’s eye one more time before this series is over.

Darius Garland Over 18.5 points (-120)

One of the more disappointing and inexplicable Cleveland plotlines this season has been the regression of Darius Garland. Garland was an All-Star just two seasons ago, but his scoring, efficiency, and overall verve took a major downturn this season.

Some of this is no doubt lingering effects of a broken jaw injury that saw him unable to eat solid food and lose significant weight midseason, but even as he’s physically improved, he has looked lost on offense for much of the year.

Inconveniently for Cleveland, part of the problem may be his on-court pairing with Mitchell. Garland has not seemed comfortable playing next to “Spida” this season, and his best moments always seem to come when he is in full command of the offense in Mitchell’s absences.

Case and point, Garland had 30 points against the Celtics in Game 4 as Mitchell sat out due to a calf strain. While he didn’t have the most efficient game, his missed shots just seemed like misses, and not the result of lack of confidence or aggression as has so often been the case for him this year.

Mitchell is officially questionable for Wednesday, but if his calf strain was severe enough to see him out of action in a virtual must-win Game 4, I highly doubt Mitchell plays in Game 5.

If Garland is once again top of the Cavs pyramid on offense, I see him easily eclipsing this prop.

Read more betting picks and predictions for the NBA on site.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics Game 5 odds

CLE Cavaliers

+900 ML

BOS Celtics

-1600 ML


BOS -15.5


O/U 205.5

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics Game 5 player props

Player points

Jayson Tatum

O/U 29.5

Jaylen Brown

O/U 24.5

Donovan Mitchell

O/U 27.5

Darius Garland

O/U 18.5

Evan Mobley

O/U 16.5

Derrick White

O/U 13.5

Jrue Holiday

O/U 14.5

Max Strus

O/U 11.5

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Odds mentioned in this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.

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