If we’re Lucky, we’ll get another seven-game series in the East as the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics get ready to square off in what could be an epic Eastern Conference Finals Matchup.
The Celtics are clearly playoff-tested given what they went through against the Bucks, overcoming a 3-2 deficit and winning Game 7 emphatically. Boston now moves on to the Heat, who have been waiting since their dismantling of the eroding Sixers.
LATEST NBA BETTING TRENDS: Odds | Over / Unders | Expert Picks
Boston opens as the favorite to win the series (-175 on FanDuel), but the Heat certainly won’t make it easy on them.
Jimmy Butler has been locked in, averaging 27.5 points per game on a 51-percent shooting last round, so the Celtics will obviously have to make every effort to make his life miserable like they did to Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo (at least the first two games, anyway). The Celtics want the rest of the Heat to try and beat them, especially Tyler Herro, who averaged just 14.7 points per game in the second round after having a great regular season.
Boston has been able to get a ton of help from more than just Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, which makes it a game-by-game guess as to who will be the third Offensive Weapon for them. It started with Al Horford, who had 52 combined points in Games 2 and 3, with Marcus Smart putting up 18, 15 and 21 points, respectively’y, in Games 4-6. Then came the Grant Williams show in Game 7, as they went 7-for-18 on three-pointers to throw in 27 points in the series-clinching win.
The Heat come in with the second-best defensive rating in the Playoffs, and they’ll need to keep that same pace against an incredibly confident Celtics team. Then again, Boston is right behind them in the same rating, so both will lean Heavily on their aggressive defensive game plans all series long.
Celtics vs. Heat betting Trends
With two strong defenses in this series, get ready for some low totals. Miami has gone UNDER the total in nine of 11 games this postseason, while Boston has hit the UNDER in seven out of its 11 games.
The big thing to keep in mind as we head into Game 1: Boston is 5-0 ATS as a road underdog in the Playoffs, while Miami is 5-1 ATS as a home favorite. Obviously, something has to give, but with the Celtics also 4-1 SU on the road in the Playoffs, it’s clear they can be a strong play in any situation, including where they sit Tuesday night.
Celtics vs. Heat best bets and expert Picks
Many expected the winner of that Celtics-Bucks series to go to the NBA Finals, and that still seems like a strong possibility. As great as the Heat were at times against Philly, the Bucks made for one heck of a test that the Celtics passed.
If you’re looking at it being a long series, a full seven games comes in at +195, the shortest odds on the board, but it just feels like we’re going in that direction with these two teams.
Remember that the NBA also added an MVP award for the Eastern and Western Conference Finals this year, and Tatum is the favorite to win at +105, with Butler next up at +200. If you’re all-in on the Celtics, then the logical bet for that MVP would be Tatum, but Brown at +900 brings a whole lot more value if Miami finds a way to make Tatum’s series a struggle.
Give me the Celtics in seven, though, and Tatum taking that MVP.
BetQL subscribers get all of our best bets, including NBA player props, with star ratings for every game. Sign up for a BetQL Day Pass!