Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics Odds, Predictions in 1st Game of the Eastern Conference Finals

Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics Odds, Predictions in 1st Game of the Eastern Conference Finals

It’s a rematch of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals for this year’s conference title as the Miami Heat face the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on Wednesday with the Celtics as very solid favorites on the NBA odds for Game 1 and the series.


Heat vs. Celtics, Game 1 | 2023 NBA Expert Analysis


How to Bet Miami at Boston NBA Odds & TV Info

When: Wednesday, 8:30 PM ET
Where: TD Garden
Stream: TNT app
NBA Odds: Celtics -8 (total 210.5)


Season Series

The teams split four regular-season meetings, last playing on Jan. 24 and the Heat winning 98-95 at home. Bam Adebayo scored 30 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and put Miami ahead for good on a jumper with 20.4 seconds left. Miami used a 15-0 run in the fourth to erase a 10-point deficit and held Boston to 13 points in the final quarter. Star Jimmy Butler was out. Jayson Tatum finished with 31 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists for the Celtics.


Why Bet on Miami?

The Heat upset the top-seeded Bucks in five games in Round 1 and eliminated the No. 5 Knicks 96-92 in Game 6 on Friday in Miami in Round 2. Jimmy Butler finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Butler shot just 7-of-22 from the floor, including 0-of-3 from beyond the arc.

Bam Adebayo came through for Miami with 23 points and nine rebounds. Adebayo was huge for the Heat down the stretch. New York battled back late in the contest, and Bam came away with key rebounds and points to stave off the comeback. The 23 points matched his playoff high, and he nearly racked up his third double-double in his last four. Kyle Lowry added 11 points, nine assists and four rebounds.

Starting guard Tyler Herro (broken right hand) is still limited by the injury he suffered during the Heat’s first-round series against the Bucks. Herro suffered the injury during Miami’s playoff opener against the Bucks on April 16, undergoing surgery five days later. The expectation was that Herro would miss anywhere from four to six weeks, so Wednesday’s Game 1 against the Celtics would be ahead of schedule. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra not only ruled out Herro for Wednesday but also disclosed that he still isn’t dribbling or shooting with his right hand. He might be back at some point this series.

Without Herro and Victor Oladipo (who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first round), the Heat have moved Max Strus to starting shooting guard and Kevin Love back to starting power forward. Lowry, Caleb Martin, Cody Zeller and Haywood Highsmith have been the team’s most reliable reserves.

Miami and Boston have faced each other five times in the playoffs, including three times in the East Finals (2012, 2020, 2022), once in the Semifinals (2011) and once in the First Round (2010). The Heat won three of those five but lost Game 7 of the 2022 East Finals in Boston. The Heat are making their 10th Conference Finals appearance, tying for the third-most among all four major sports leagues since making their first appearance in 1997. The team is 5-1 in the conference finals under Spoelstra.

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Why Bet on Boston?

The Celtics beat the visiting 76ers 112-88 in Game 7 on Sunday so it’s a bit of short rest for Boston. Jayson Tatum led the way with 51 points, an NBA record for a Game 7. JT was scorching right out of the gate, dropping 11 in the first quarter and 14 more in the second, as the Celtics went into halftime with a 55-52 edge. He helped them break the game open in the third quarter, single-handedly outscoring the 76ers, 17-10, finishing with more than half of his team’s 33 points in the frame.

Tatum closed out with a nine-point fourth quarter and finished 17-of-28 from the field, 6-of-10 from 3-point range, and 11-of-14 from the free-throw line while becoming the first player in franchise history to record multiple career 50-point games in the playoffs (he now has two such efforts and three including play-in games). He didn’t commit a single turnover, making him the first player in NBA postseason history to score more than 50 points in a turnover-free game. Tatum also became the first player to record 50-points in the regular season, postseason and All-Star Game all in the same season.

“It’s a movie. It’s a big movie,” said Marcus Smart. “Being able to just sit back, eat your popcorn and watch. Sometimes we do get in that mode where we forget that we’re on the court playing with him and you’ve gotta continue to play because he’s able to make shots at a high difficulty and get really hot like he did tonight. But it’s a beauty. It’s a thing to watch. He works his tail off every day, he comes and has a game like Game 6 and then he comes out here and explodes. That’s what you ask for from one of your best players.”

Jaylen Brown had 25 points and six rebounds in the win and averaged 22.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists in the series. Al Horford stuffed the stat sheet with six points, 10 rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and two steals. Horford is one of only 13 players in NBA history to record at least 2,000 points, 1,300 rebounds, and 500 assists in the playoffs.

The Celtics have now won seven series when trailing 3-2, the most by any team in NBA history.

“You always come into a series with the expectation of how it’s supposed to go, and it’s just not how the playoffs are,” Celtics first-year coach Joe Mazzulla said. “We just handled the ebbs and flows of a series. Never got too emotionally high, too emotionally low. We had rough patches, but we were able to keep our emotional togetherness intact, which I think is important in the playoffs.”

Mazzulla had a light-bulb moment before Game 6 against the Sixers, starting big man Robert Williams III next to Horford rather than staggering their use. It was an idea that worked last spring and it worked again to close out the series. But against the Heat, Boston might do better going back to Derrick White with Tatum, Brown, Horford and Marcus Smart. ? White has gradually fallen out of the top half of the rotation over the course of the playoffs, as Malcolm Brogdon has been scoring well and holding up decently on defense.

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Game Trends

  • Heat are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
  • Heat are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
  • Celtics are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 home games.
  • Heat are 13-5 ATS in the last 18 meetings in Boston.
  • Over is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings in Boston.

Expert Prediction

Celtics 110, Heat 105


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