Cavaliers vs. Celtics NBA Expert Prediction and Odds for NBA Playoffs Game 5 (Cavs Disrespected?)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for Game 5 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (10) brings the ball up.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (10) brings the ball up. / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics have a chance to close out their series with the Cleveland Cavaliers and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night.

With Cleveland banged up in Game 4 (Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen both did not play), the Celtics picked up a seven-point road win – their fourth road win of the postseason – to take a 3-1 series lead.

Boston is massively favored in Game 5, a sign that Mitchell and Allen both won’t play, but the C’s have been average at home over the last three postseason runs, going just 14-14 straight up.

How should we bet on the Celtics in a closeout game on Wednesday?

Let’s break down the latest odds, key players and my best bet for Game 5: 

Cavaliers vs. Celtics Odds, Spread and Total


  • Cavaliers +14.5 (-110)
  • Celtics -14.5 (-110)


  • Cavaliers: +850
  • Celtics: -1450


  • 205.5 (Over -110/Under -110)

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Cavaliers vs. Celtics How to Watch

  • Date: Wednesday, May 15
  • Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: TD Garden
  • How to watch (TV): TNT
  • Series: Celtics lead 3-1

Cavaliers vs. Celtics Injury Reports

Cavs Injury Report

  • Craig Porter Jr. – doubtful
  • Ty Jerome – out
  • Caris LeVert – questionable
  • Donovan Mitchell – questionable
  • Jarrett Allen – questionable

Celtics Injury Report

  • Kristaps Porzingis – out

Cavaliers vs. Celtics Key Players to Watch

Cleveland Cavaliers

Darius Garland: Darius Garland scored 30 points on 12-of-27 shooting in Game 4, but he struggled early on picking up two quick fouls. Garland has to be more efficient if the Cavs want to win this game, and it’s likely he’s going to see a massive role with or without Mitchell in the lineup tonight. 

Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum: We’re starting to see the All-NBA version of Jayson Tatum show up in these playoffs. Tatum has posted stat lines of 33-13-6 and 33-11-5 in his last two games, carrying the Boston offense at times. Can he slam the door shut on Cleveland tonight? 

Cavaliers vs. Celtics Prediction and Pick

In a win-or-go-home game, I think the Cavs may be a little undervalued in this matchup. 

Cleveland was able to compete with the Celtics at home in Game 4 without Mitchell, and while it’s possible he won’t play again in Game 5, Boston has been far from automatic at home over the last three seasons.

The C’s are just 14-14 straight up in those games, a shocking mark for a team that’s been to the Eastern Conference Finals – at least – in each of the last two seasons.

Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Max Strus can compete with this Boston team for at least part of the game, and there is always a chance we can get a backdoor cover from the Cavs if the C’s pull their starters late. 

Don’t forget, the Cavs won Game 2 outright in Boston. This spread is a little too much for my liking in Game 5. 

Pick: Cavs +14.5 (-110)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.