Celtics vs. Cavaliers odds, line, spread: 2020 NBA picks, March 4 predictions from proven model on 49-31 run

Collin Sexton and the Cleveland Cavaliers host Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics on Wednesday evening. Previously listed as out, Tatum (illness) will make a return from a one-game absence. However, teammates Kemba Walker (knee), Gordon Hayward (knee) and Jaylen Brown (hamstring) have all already been ruled out of tonight’s contest. Cleveland will be missing Andre Drummond (calf), Darius Garland (groin) and Dante Exum (ankle), while Tristan Thompson (knee) is questionable.

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m ET from the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Sportsbooks list the Celtics as four-point favorites, while the over-under for total points scored is 217 in the latest Celtics vs Cavaliers odds. Before you make any Cavaliers vs Celtics picks or NBA predictions, you should see what SportsLine’s advanced computer model has to say.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it’s already returned almost $4,000 in profit on all top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season. It also entered Week 20 a blistering 49-31 on all top-rated NBA spread picks this season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns. 

Now, the model has set its sights on Celtics vs. Cavaliers. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NBA odds and trends for Cavaliers vs. Celtics:

  • Celtics vs. Cavaliers spread: Celtics -4
  • Celtics vs. Cavaliers over-under: 217 points
  • Celtics vs. Cavaliers money line: Boston -161, Cleveland +121
  • BOS: The Celtics have the NBA’s best ATS cover rate at 61 percent.
  • CLE: The Cavs are 3-14 in their last 17 games at home.

Why the Celtics can cover

The model is well aware that while Boston is banged up, getting Tatum back for this game should make a big difference. Tatum has missed just five games this season, and Boston is 1-4 against the spread when he’s been out of the lineup. Per cleaningtheglass.com, the Celtics are 11.5-points better per-100 possessions with Tatum on the court — a 95th percentile outcome. 

That’s significantly better than the on/off splits for any other Boston player, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given the level Tatum has played at this season. Tatum has scored at least 32 points in four-straight games, during which he’s averaged 35.5 points and 8.3 rebounds. The Cavaliers have no answer for him defensively. There’s a reason the spread moved from 2.5-points to four as soon as Tatum was deemed healthy enough to play.

Why the Cavaliers can cover

Even so, Boston isn’t guaranteed to cover the Cavaliers vs. Celtics spread on Wednesday. The model is well aware that outside of Tatum, the rest of this Boston squad has to be gassed. The Celtics are coming off of an overtime loss in Boston on Tuesday and are now shorthanded in Cleveland. The Cavs, on the other hand, have played just one game this month and are in the midst of a home stand. They have played better lately, going 5-2-1 against the spread over their past eight games.

A big reason for the upswing is the additional minutes that have been granted to improving young players like Kevin Porter Jr. and Sexton. Sexton is coming off of a 32-point outing against the Utah Jazz, and he’s now scored at least 28 points in three of his past four games. Porter Jr. has been contributing across the board, averaging 16 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals over his past five games. 

How to make Celtics vs. Cavaliers picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total. In fact, the model is projecting just two players to score more than 15 points for Boston, while Cleveland’s Thompson falls short of his scoring average. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 60 percent of simulations. You can only see that one at SportsLine.

So who wins Cavaliers vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread hits in over 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Celtics vs. Cavaliers spread you need to jump on Wednesday, all from the model on a 49-31 roll, and find out.

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