The second seed Boston Celtics meet the No. 1 seed Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday. We examine the Celtics vs. Heat odds and lines and give our expert NBA selections, predictions, and bets below.
Boston advanced to the conference finals after beating the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 of their semifinal series on Sunday, 109-81 at home.
Miami beat the Philadelphia 76ers 4-2 in the previous round despite surrendering a two-game lead after Sixers C In Game 3, Joel Embiid made his series debut in Philadelphia.
In this postseason, the Celtics are 7-3-1 against the spread (ATS) and 4-7 Over/Under (O/U), while the Heat are 7-4 ATS and 2-9 O/U.
Against Miami, Boston was 2-1 straight-up (SU) and ATS during the regular season, while the over/under was 1-2.
The Heat beat the Celtics 4-2 in the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals in Orlando.
Celtics at Heat picks and predictions
Heat 105, Celtics 100
BET MIAMI (-130) to win Game 1.
The Heat are the NBA’s top 3-point shooting team. During the regular season, they topped the league in 3-point shooting percentage (37.9 percent). Furthermore, they were second in defensive 3-point percentage, keeping opponents to 33.9 percent.
The Celtics won Games 6 and 7 of their last series because they outscored the Bucks by a wide margin, but the percentages from beyond the arc favor the Heat in this meeting.
During the regular season, the Heat allowed the fewest paint points per game. Tucker, SF Jimmy Butler, and C Bam Adebayo have the length, agility, and flexibility to provide problems for Celtics SF Jayson Tatum and SG Jaylen Brown.
Miami is well-rested, but Boston recently ended a difficult 7-game series against a much tougher opponent on Sunday, and the Celtics might be tired.
With a rest advantage, the Heat are 19-6 SU with a plus-9.0 margin of win and 4-0 SU with a plus-23.8 margin of victory with four or more rest days. When playing with a rest deficit, the Celtics are 10-12 SU.
Miami plays better on prolonged rest because it gives coach Erik Spoelstra more time to develop a game plan and enables the Heat’s injured roster to recuperate from lingering problems.
Against the spread
The Heat’s ML (-130) is just 15 cents on the dollar more costly than the Heat -1.5 (-115), so there’s no need to play the spread.
However, Miami is 8-1 ATS in the previous 9 games as a home favorite, 16-9 ATS when playing with a day’s rest, and 4-0 ATS when playing with four or more days of rest. This is an SUCCESSFUL.
There isn’t a large enough difference between my guess and the market’s anticipated score to take a position on the total, and this seems to be a sharp number.
Two of the three regular-season meetings between the Celtics and the Heat were sold out, although the lowest O/U line of the three games was 209.5.
In this total, the oddsmakers have correctly accounted for the playoff atmosphere and slower speed.
Celtics at Heat odds and lines
The odds are provided by OKBET Sportsbook for a complete list. Lines last updated at 3:44 a.m. ET.
- Money line (ML): Celtics +105 (bet 100 to win 105) | Heat -130 (bet 130 to win 100)
- Against the spread: Celtics +1.5 (-1)7 | Heat -1.5 (-115)
- Over/Under: 203.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)
Game 1 Miami Heat at Boston Celtics key injuries
- PG Marcus Smart (foot) questionable
- PG Kyle Lowry (hamstring) out
- SF Caleb Martin (ankle) questionable
- SG Max Strus (hamstring) questionable
- PF P.J. Tucker (calf) questionable
- PG Gabe Vincent (hamstring) questionable