None of the first four games of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals between the Celtics and Heat have been all that competitive. Will that change Wednesday when the series returns to Miami for Game 5? Boston is a short favorite on the NBA odds.
How to Bet Celtics at Heat NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Wednesday, 8:30 PM ET
- Where: FTX Arena
- TV: ESPN
- Stream: ESPN app
- Radio: Tunein.com
- NBA Odds: Celtics -1.5 (total 203.5)
Why Bet on Boston?
After looking terrible at home in Game 3 and losing, Boston evened up the East Finals with an easy 102-82 home win on Monday. Robert Williams returned to the court Monday and provided 12 points, nine boards and two blocked shots. Williams missed Game 3 due to a lingering knee issue, and he’s been sidelined for five of the Celtics’ last seven. He only logged 19 minutes in Game 4 as Boston raced out to a monster lead and never looked back.
Jayson Tatum piled up 31 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Tatum went for just 10 points in Saturday’s loss, scoring two points and committing three turnovers in the second half of the close contest. He bounced back in a big way in Game 4. Boston is now 5-0 in games following a loss this postseason, and Tatum has averaged 32.6 points in those contests.
With guard Marcus Smart, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, out with an ankle injury Derrick White started in his spot and finished with 13 points, eight boards, six assists and three steals. White scored Boston’s first seven points, which sparked an 18-1 Celtics run out of the gate. He only scored six more the rest of the way but made some tremendous contributions as a rebounder, facilitator and defender. It was without a doubt the most well-rounded effort he’s had since joining the Celtics in February.
“We wanted him to be confident, aggressive, and he picked his spots well early on,” said head coach Ime Udoka. “[The Heat] guard him a certain way. Told him look for the shot but also get downhill and facilitate, and he does that extremely well. Just happened that he got the right looks, took the shots that were there and then started to find the other guys.”
Al Horford was Boston’s only starter who didn’t score in double-figures, but he led the game with 13 rebounds and four blocked shots. One way to win a critical playoff game is to hold the opponent without a field goal for the first 8:38 of the game. And that’s exactly what the did Monday. The Celtics forced Miami into 14 straight misses from the field to open the game, which held the Heat without a field goal for nearly nine straight minutes following tip-off. That marked the longest such stretch to open a playoff game in more than two decades.
Why Bet on Miami?
Playing without NBA Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro due to injury and a few other guys banged up, the Heat simply looked out of sync from the get-go Monday and were never in the game in trailing 18-1 from the start. The Heat started 0-for-14 from the field and that point was via free throw. It was the lowest point total through the first eight minutes of the opening period of a postseason game in the past 25 years. The 11 points the Heat finished with in the first quarter set the record for the lowest-scoring first quarter in Heat playoff history.
Miami’s starters combined for just 18 points in Game 4. Those 18 points by the Heat starters were the fewest scored by a team’s starting lineup in a playoff game since the 1970-71 season. Jimmy Butler ended Monday’s ugly loss with just six points on 3-of-14 shooting. In Games 1 and 2, Jimmy Buckets posted 70 points and 15 boards. He injured his knee in Game 3 and isn’t 100 percent. The six points were Butler’s fewest in a playoff game since 2013 and third-fewest in a playoff game in which he played at least 27 minutes.
The Heat finished the night shooting just 33.3 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from 3-point territory. Those shooting struggles only magnified the importance of Tyler Herro on this team, who was sidelined for Game 4 with a groin injury. Herro’s ability to create his own shot, while also creating scoring opportunities for his teammates is integral to Miami’s success. Herro is expected to play Game 5.
The only bright spot Monday was Victor Oladipo with 23 points, six assists and four rebounds off the bench. With Herro out, he got plenty of playing time.
Miami managed just two second-chance points in the first three quarters. “We felt like last game they destroyed us obviously on the boards,” Celtics center Robert Williams III said, “so we just wanted to up the effort all around.”
Head coach Erik Spoelstra is making his sixth Conference Finals appearance, tying for the most in the NBA since he became head coach. Spoelstra is a perfect 5-0 in Conference Finals series, tying the best winning percentage in Conference Finals history (minimum five series).
- Celtics are 19-6-1 ATS in their last 26 road games.
- Celtics are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Celtics are 13-5-1 ATS in their last 19 games overall.
- Heat are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 Wednesday games.
- Heat are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 home games.
- Heat are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a home underdog.