Cavaliers vs. Celtics NBA expert prediction and odds for Tuesday, Dec. 12

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Cleveland Cavaliers-Boston Celtics matchup.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives the ball.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives the ball. / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics are one of the few teams in the NBA that had Monday off, meaning that they are well rested (three straight off days) heading into their matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night. 

This is the second game of a back-to-back for Cleveland after the team lost to the Orlando Magic on Monday night. The Cavs are struggling in this spot this season, going 1-2-1 against the spread in the second night of a back-to-back. 

Boston is finally healthy with Kristaps Porzingis returning to action on Friday, and that could make things tough on a Cavs team that was without Evan Mobley on Monday night. 

Let’s dive into the odds and best bet for this Eastern Conference showdown: 

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Cavaliers vs. Celtics odds, spread and total

Cavaliers vs. Celtics how to watch

  • Date: Tuesday, Dec. 12
  • Game Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: TD Garden
  • How to Watch (TV): Bally Sports Ohio, NBC Sports Boston
  • Cavs Record: 13-10
  • Celtics Record: 16-5

Cavaliers vs. Celtics injury reports

Cavs injury report

  • Injury report not submitted yet

Celtics injury report

  • JD Davison – out
  • Nathan Knight – out
  • Jordan Walsh – out

Cavaliers vs. Celtics key players to watch

Cleveland Cavaliers

Donovan Mitchell: Since returning from an injury, Mitchell has struggled shooting the ball in eight games. He’s just 39.9 percent from the field and 28.1 percent from 3 over that stretch. Can he turn things around against an elite Boston team? 

Boston Celtics

Derrick White: White is coming off a 30-point game against the New York Knicks, and he’s averaging 18.1 points per game over his last seven matchups. The Celtics are going to be tough with that production from a secondary scorer like White. 

Jayson Tatum: Tatum has taken a little bit of a step back as a scorer this season, taking 1.7 fewer shots per game, and averaging 27.5 points per game. It wasn’t going to be easy for Tatum to repeat averaging over 30.0 points per game, but he's clearly deferring a bit to others in this loaded offense. 

Does he put together a big game against Cleveland? 

Cavaliers vs. Celtics prediction and pick

Boston has been dominant as a home favorite this season, going 7-3 against the spread and winning those games by an average margin of 16.8 points. 

So, with Cleveland on the second night of a back-to-back, I don’t mind laying the points with the Celtics here. 

The Cavs could be without their best defender in Mobley, and the team has been one of the worst offenses in the NBA, ranking 25th in offensive rating and 18th in effective field goal percentage. 

That’s not going to cut it against a healthy – and rested – Boston team that is No. 7 in offensive rating and No. 4 in defensive rating this season. 

I’d wait for a final injury report on Cleveland’s side before considering any other bet, as there’s a chance this line could move if multiple players are ruled out. 

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.