Celtics vs. Cavaliers Game 3 Prediction, NBA Playoff Odds

Edgar Chaput | Updated May 10, 2024

NBA: Playoffs-Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics

After two blowout victories for each team, the series between the Celtics and Cavaliers moves to Cleveland for Game 3 on Saturday night. The series is tied 1-1.

May 11, 2024, 8:30 PM ET
Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
Pointspread -7.5 -110
Moneyline -350
Over / Under o +210.5


Betting Action


Pointspread +7.5 -110
Moneyline +260
Over / Under u +210.5


Betting Action


Game 2 was a case of “Anything you can do we can do better.” The Cleveland Cavaliers took notes from their emphatic defeat at the hands of the Boston Celtics in the first match and responded in kind for the second, winning 118-94. From defence to three-point shooting, the Cavs were clearly the better team and now head home with some momentum.

Despite their deserved loss on Thursday night, the Celtics remain favourites on the NBA Playoff odds. For Game 3 they’re pegged at -8.5.

Celtics vs. Cavaliers NBA Betting Odds

Just one game can change a lot. Heading into Thursday’s action Cleveland was a ridiculous +1600 to claim the series over Boston. As of Friday morning, that figure has plummeted to +650. They’re still underdogs, but at least there is sensible hope now.

However, the odds remain steep for each prop that guesses the number of games in which Donovan Mitchell and company will do the deed. Six games is now +1600 and seven games is now +2000 (it was +5000).

Boston’s outlook remains positive, as one might guess. A gentleman’s sweep is -105, six games is +350, and the Celtics winning in extremis is +475.

Of note, this is the second consecutive series these playoffs and third overall that the Celtics dropped Game 2 at home. In response, last year in the conference finals they lost Game 3 to Miami, whereas this year they won Game 3 in Miami. The Cavaliers have yet to lose at home this postseason.

Boston Celtics

In The Athletic’s newsletter for Friday, May 10, one writer is quoted as saying that the Celtics “just aren’t a serious club when shots aren’t falling.”

Boston fans may take umbrage with said comment given how wonderful the team has played overall for a few seasons by now. But the reality is that everyone is still waiting for this Jayson TatumJaylen Brown generation of Celtics to get over the playoff hump and prove that all the hype is worthwhile. Game 2 was yet another clunker of a performance, just like some of the 2022 Finals performances were and just like some of the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals performances were.

The Celtics shot 22.9 per cent from three which, predictably, sunk them. They were buzz sawed off the glass (44-31), making Kristaps Porzingis’ absence felt. The Derrick White heroics were absent (10 points, 1-for-8 from distance), and all starters except Al Horford were a minus-21 or worse. Yikes.

Cleveland Cavaliers

The performance in Game 2 was the Cavaliers was like a warning shot. It went beyond levelling the series 1-1. The tilt now shifts to Ohio and J.B. Bickerstaff’s group is an excellent home team (26-15 this season, 4-0 in Round 1). Not to mention the epic 22-point comeback versus these same Celtics back in March.

We wrote about how Donovan Mitchell doing everything on his own was going to spell disaster for Cleveland. The club took note. Although he still led the way with 29 points, he also played facilitator with eight helpers. Evan Mobley was a greater presence (21-10-5), and Caris LeVert was terrific off the bench (21 points, 9-for-17 shooting). Every Cavalier starter hit double-digit points as well.

They also didn’t back down from a tough situation. If anything, Cleveland recognized that an opportunity beckoned. With the score tied 54-54 at halftime, rather than wither under the pressure, the Cavs destroyed the Celtics 64-40 in the remaining two periods.

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