Heat vs Celtics Odds, NBA Playoff Picks & Betting Predictions
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The top-seeded Miami Heat wasted little time getting back to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in three seasons. The Boston Celtics dispatched Kevin Durant’s Brooklyn Nets and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s defending champion Milwaukee Bucks to get this far.
Now, the top two seeds in the East face off with a trip to the NBA Finals in the balance. The Celtics took two of three regular-season matchups, but Miami won the lone face-off that occurred since February.
Jimmy Butler and the Heat got through the Hawks in five games and finished James Harden and the 76ers in six games. Boston swept Brooklyn then won an epic seven-game series with Milwaukee.
Ahead of Game 1, we break down the series and make our NBA pick to back on betting sites.
Celtics vs Heat Odds
Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook and accurate at publication time.
Celtics vs Heat Betting Tips
Longball Prowess: The Celtics got past the Bucks by hitting 3-pointers. Boston hit 22 3-pointers on Sunday, the most ever in a Game 7 and the single most in Celtics' playoff history. Overall, the Celtics made 53 more of them than the Bucks, the biggest differential in a series ever (per ESPN Stats & Info).
The only team that allowed a higher percentage of shots on 3’s than Milwaukee was Miami. In the Celtics’ two wins over the Heat this season, they shot 16-of-41 and 16-of-42 on 3’s (and won by 17 and by 30). In Miami’s eight-point win, Boston was only 11-of-37.
Star Wattage: Both teams have been guided by their stars, but each has been limited against these top-tier opposing defenses. Jayson Tatum has averaged 28.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game this postseason for the Celtics, but against Miami, those numbers were 17.7/8.3/4.3 in three games. Jimmy Butler’s issues were more pronounced. He’s averaging 28.7 ppg, 7.5 RPG and 5.4 APG in the playoffs but managed only 22.0/3.5/2.0 vs. the Celtics this season.
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Cover Monsters: Miami went 53-39-1 against the spread this season (57.6%), and Boston was 51-39-3 (56.7%), ranking fourth and fifth in the NBA. You can’t count out either team: Miami was 18-8 ATS (69.2%) and the Celtics were 16-8-2 (66.7%) as the underdog – those were the best two percentage marks in the association.
Celtics vs Heat Picks
Boston is a hefty -180 to win the series, while Miami – the No. 1 seed with home-court advantage – is posted at +150 on betting apps.
While Miami had the better overall season, no team has played better since the All-Star break than the Celtics. They’re a better version of Miami, with superior depth and two stars to lean on (Tatum and Jaylen Brown) instead of one. They have slightly more depth, are slightly better on defense and their matchups set well against Miami’s few weaknesses.
Miami has been there, done that, but this has the feel of a Celtics “my turn” moment. Celtics in 6 at +265 on the NBA odds board, offers value as well.
Celtics vs Heat Schedule
- Game 1: May 17, Celtics at Heat , 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
- Game 2: May 19, Celtics at Heat, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
- Game 3: May 21, Heat at Celtics, 8:30 p.m. ET, ABC
- Game 4: May 23, Heat at Celtics, 8:30 p.m. ET, ABC
- Game 5: May 25, Celtics at Heat, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN *
- Game 6: May 27, Heat at Celtics, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN *
- Game 7: May 29, Celtics at Heat, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN *