The NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals tip-off from Miami on Tuesday night with the Heat as short favorites against the Boston Celtics, who actually are favored to win the series despite not having home-court advantage.
How to Bet Celtics at Heat NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Tuesday, 8:30 PM ET
- Where: FTX Arena
- TV: ESPN
- Stream: ESPN app
- Radio: Tunein.com
- NBA Odds: Heat -1.5 (total 204)
Boston won two of three vs. Miami but the Heat won the most recent matchup 106-98 in Beantown on March 30. Jimmy Butler scored 24 points, and Kyle Lowry added 23 and the Miami rallied in the fourth quarter. Bam Adebayo finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Jayson Tatum added 23 points and six assists. The back-and-forth game had very much the intensity of a playoff matchup, featuring nine ties and 16 lead changes.
Why Bet on Boston?
The Celtics finished off the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 on Sunday, 109-81. Jayson Tatum had 23 points, eight assists and six rebounds while hitting five three-pointers. Tatum had 17 first-half points but was also responsible for five turnovers and three personal fouls. However, Tatum and the Celtics were able to get the turnovers issues under control after the intermission, grabbing control of the game and outscoring the Bucks by a 61-38 margin in the second half.
Jaylen Brown had 19 points and 18 rebounds. An 80.8% shooter from the foul line for his postseason career, Brown had an uncharacteristically bad afternoon in the department on Sunday in shooting 1-for-4 but it really didn’t matter as Boston pulled away in the second half. After being limited to just 12 points in Game 1, Brown scored at least 18 in each of the next six games.
Grant Williams was the unlikely hero in Game 7 with 27 points, six rebounds and two blocks on 10 of 22 from the field and 7 of 18 from 3-point land. He set career highs for points and 3-pointers made, led the Celtics in scoring for the first time in his career, broke Steph Curry’s NBA record for 3-point attempts in a Game 7 and tied Curry’s record for 3-point makes in a Game 7. The Celtics hit a new playoff franchise record with 22 3-pointers.
Williams hit his first 3-pointer to open the game but missed five of his next six attempts. But his team and his coaches kept telling him that he needed to shoot it if he was open. Williams’ seven 3-point makes nearly doubled the team total for the Bucks, who shot just 4-of-33 from long-distance.
“I told him let it fly,” Udoka said. “They are disrespecting you more tonight than they were earlier in the series. That was their plan on him and other guys, really shifting and making them try to beat us. You saw it on the first one he made.”
Williams connected on 41.1 percent of his long-range attempts during the regular season, and has remained at 41.0 percent in the playoffs. “It’s something that I knew that I’d have to add to my arsenal to expand and be consistent in this game and to play at this level,” Williams said of his growth as a shooter. “So it’s just a matter of the years that I spent and the shots that I’ve taken.”
Starting center Robert Williams (left knee bone bruise) did not see any action Sunday. The Time Lord was cleared to play in Game 7, but only “if needed,” according to Celtics coach Ime Udoka. With Boston managing to blow the game open after halftime, there was no need to even consider putting Williams on the court. Udoka told reporters on Monday that Williams will be available without a minutes restriction for Game 1 against the Heat on Tuesday.
Why Bet on Miami?
Miami finished off Philadelphia 99-90 in Game 6 on Thursday. Max Strus went off for 20 points, 11 boards, five assists and four triples in the clincher. Strus averaged 7.3 points and 3.3 boards in Games 1-4 but totally came alive in the final two wins of the series, posting back-to-back double-doubles with eight total triples. The double-doubles were the first of his career, playoff or otherwise.
Jimmy Butler had 32 points, eight boards and four assists. He was brilliant in the second half, going for 23 points, five boards and four assists as to help the Heat advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in three seasons. Butler scored at least 30 points in three of the final four games of the series and has hit the total five times in the postseason, trailing only Giannis Antetokounmpo (7) for league lead. Butler is averaging 28.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game in the playoffs. He has also shot 52.5% from the floor and 36% from three-point range, leading Miami to an 8-3 postseason record.
Starting point Kyle Lowry (left hamstring strain) missed practice again on Monday, and he’s unlikely to play in Game 1. Lowry only did some practice on the side, which isn’t really enough for him to be comfortable to play in a playoff game. Lowry suffered a hamstring injury in the first round against Atlanta. Last round, the Heat went 4-0 against the Sixers without him and 0-2 with him, but he was playing through the injury in his two games. Lowry ranked fourth on the team in scoring (13.4 points per game) and first in assists (7.5 per game) this season. The Heat will continue to rely more on Gabe Vincent, Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo until Lowry returns.
This is the fifth time that Miami and Boston will meet in the postseason, and the third time in the Conference Finals. Previously, Boston won a first round series, 4-1, in 2010, Miami won a Second Round series, 4-1, in 2011, Miami won the 2012 Conference Finals in seven games and in 2020 Miami won another Conference Finals in six games.
Miami led the league in allowing their opponents to take 41.9 percent of their shots from three. Playing against Milwaukee, which allowed the second-highest percentage of opponent attempts from deep, Boston attempted threes at a rate that would have ranked No. 4 in the regular season.
- Celtics are 16-5-2 ATS in their last 23 games as an underdog.
- Celtics are 19-6-1 ATS in their last 26 road games.
- Celtics are 7-0-1 ATS in their last 8 games as a road underdog.
- Heat are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Heat are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games as a home favorite.
- Celtics are 13-6 ATS in the last 19 meetings in Miami.
- Heat 105, Celtics 103
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