On Saturday, Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics will be played at the TD Garden. The best-of-seven series, which is even at one game each, will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC). The following are NBA picks, predictions, and bets for the Heat vs. Celtics.
Boston won Game 2 of the series by a score of 127-102 against Miami on Thursday. The Celtics led the Heat by 25 points at the break, a lead they were able to maintain by exceeding them in three of the “four variables.”
SF Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 27 points, while PG Marcus Smart and SG Jaylen Brown each added 24. Combined, Tatum and Brown shot 57.7% from the field (17 of 30), while Smart came close to a triple-double in his series debut, ending with 12 assists and nine rebounds.
SF in Miami On 11 of 18 shooting, Jimmy Butler had 29 points and 11 rebounds, but no other Heat player scored more than 14 points in Game 3.
Game 3 Boston Celtics at Miami Heat picks and predictions
Celtics 105, Heat 101
I’m going to pass with a significant “lean” to the Heat (+190) since I like their spread and will “sprinkle” on an underdog’s ML when betting them to cover.
However, Butler did not have much help from his teammates throughout this series, and role players often do better at home in the playoffs.
Also, if Tucker and/or Lowry are unable to play in Game 3, the Heat’s ML will become more enticing, but Miami’s defense against Boston’s All-Star wings will be a question mark without Tucker.
Against the spread
BET HEAT +5.5 (-107) because the betting market has a “Pros vs. Joe’s” scenario and Miami has been lucrative after defeats and as away underdogs this season.
More money is on the Heat, according to OKBET Sportsbook, but 61 percent of bets are on the Celtics -5.5. (-115). Because professional bettors put up more money than the ordinary Joe, the cash column of the betting splits is regarded as the market’s sharp side.
Miami is also 20-11-1 ATS after a defeat, 14-7 ATS with an NBA-best plus-6.0 ATS margin, 16-10 ATS on the road against winning teams, and 11-6 ATS as a 5-to-7.5-point underdog.
Meanwhile, as home favorites, the Celtics are 19-24-1 ATS and 14-12-1 ATS against winning clubs.
BET HEAT +5.5 (-107).
Slight LEAN to the UNDER 207.5 (-107).
Both teams played in the bottom third of the NBA in speed during the regular season, and this series is playing at a slower pace than their regular-season tempos.
According to Pregame.com, approximately 70% of bets are on the Over 207.5 (-115), although the total has been reduced from the 208.5-point opening.
This kind of strange line fluctuation makes me assume that the oddsmakers want more pro-Over money. Instead, choose the other path.
Heat at Celtics odds and lines
The odds are provided by OKBET Sportsbook for a complete list. Lines were last updated at 2:19 p.m. ET.
- Money line (ML): Heat +190 (bet 100 to win 190) | Celtics -240 (bet 240 to win 100)
- Against the spread: Heat +5.5 (-107) | Celtics -5.5 (-115)
- Over/Under: 207.5 (O: -115 | U: -107)
Heat at Celtics key injuries
- PG Kyle Lowry (hamstring) questionable
- SG Max Strus (hamstring) questionable
- PF P.J. Tucker (knee) questionable
- PG Gabe Vincent (hamstring) questionable
- C Robert Williams III (knee) questionable