The Cleveland Cavaliers staved off elimination with a 109-99 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, thanks to an absurd 46-point performance from LeBron James. Now the series heads back to Boston for Game 7 on Sunday night to decide who goes to the NBA Finals.

So, who’s favored?

The Celtics open as favorites of 2 to 2.5 points depending on the sportsbook.

There are several factors at play that surely led to that Celtics -2 to -2.5 line (which is actually the most the Celtics have been favored by in the series), and here are a few of those factors:

1. Well, the game is in Boston, so that’s obviously an advantage for the Celtics.

Especially when you consider that Brad Stevens’ Celtics squad has won all three games at Boston in this series, and they won all of those games by at least 13 points. And the home team has won every game in this series.

TD Garden is sure to be rocking and will make for a very intimidating road environment for the Cavs.

2. Cavs’ star big man Kevin Love left Friday night’s game to be evaluated for a concussion.

Love’s had two concussions since 2016, and if he’s been diagnosed with one now, it’s hard to imagine he’d be able to pass the tests necessary to be allowed to play by Sunday night. Love called his Game 7 availability a “toss-up” after the game, but that’s probably even being optimistic.

The 6’10”, 250-pounder averaged 17.9 points and 9.3 rebounds on the season, and has been Cleveland’s second-leading scorer in the regular season and playoffs. This would obviously be a big loss for the Cavs.

3. Okay, so if the Cavs have lost all three games in Boston by 13+ points, and they may be without Love, how are they only underdogs by a couple points?

Because they have the best basketball player on the planet, and far and away the best player in this series.


LeBron’s 46-point performance on Friday night was his seventh 40+ point performance of the playoffs.

And it probably won’t surprise you that LeBron has been particularly lethal in Game 7s in his career.

So much seems to favor the Celtics here, but it’s so hard to bet against LeBron in a Game 7, especially when Boston is a young team lacking star talent (which isn’t their own fault after the Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving injuries). And that’s why Vegas views this game as a pretty even matchup, with the Celtics getting the slight home-court boost.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.