The Celtics seeds to take their Game 1 loss to the Heat personally.
Led by Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics made light work of the Heat in Game 2, defeating them by 25 points to tie the Eastern Conference Finals at 1-1.
How will the Heat respond in Game 3?
Here’s everything to know about Celtics vs. Heat, including updated odds, Trends and predictions for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
MORE: How Smart’s return inspired the Celtics to both ends of the floor
Celtics vs. Heat odds for Eastern Conference Finals Game 3
- Spread: Celtics -6.5
- Over / under: 207.5
- Moneyline: Celtics -270, Heat +220
(betting odds on FanDuel Sportsbook)
The Celtics are the betting favorites in Game 3. Boston is 3-1 against the spread in its last four NBA Playoff games.
Three betting Trends to watch
The Eastern Conference Finals shifts to Boston for Games 3 and 4.
The Celtics were one of the better home teams in the NBA this season, going 28-13 at the TD Garden. The only team in the Eastern Conference with fewer losses on their home court during the regular season was the Heat (29-12).
The Celtics won both of their home games against the Nets in the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, but they split them in their second-round series with the Bucks (2-2).
After not having Smart and Al Horford in Game 1, the Celtics are returning to full strength.
The same can’t be said for the Heat.
Defensive ace PJ Tucker left Game 2 with a left knee injury, the severity of which is still unknown. The Heat have also been without starting point guard Kyle Lowry, who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury.
#MIAvsBOS INJURY UPDATE: Kyle Lowry (hamstring), PJ Tucker (knee), Max Strus (hamstring) and Gabe Vincent (hamstring) are all listed as questionable to play in tomorrow’s Game 3 vs the Celtics.
– Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 20, 2022
If Tucker and Lowry are unable to go in Game 3, the Heat will need more from Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro to keep up with the Celtics.
The turnover battle
Turnovers were a big problem for the Celtics in Game 1. Not only did they cough the ball up 16 times, but the Heat also scored 19 points off those Mistakes.
The Celtics took much better care of the ball in Game 2, turning it over only nine times, five of which came in the second half when they already had a big lead.
Only six teams generated more points off turnovers than the Heat during the regular season. Boston can’t afford to be sloppy around this Miami defense.
Smart stole the show for the Celtics in Game 2. In his return from injury, he finished with 24 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. As StatMuse pointed out, Boston is now 4-0 in the postseason when Smart scores 20-plus points. The Celtics are also 7-1 when he dishes out six-plus assists.
The Heat need to find a way to get Herro going. This season’s Sixth Man of the Year, Herro was Miami’s second-leading scorer during the regular season with 20.7 points per game. After scoring 11 points in Game 2, he failed to reach 20 points in each of his last seven NBA Playoff games.
Celtics vs. Heat expert predictions
Against the spread
Celtics -6.5. Boston made a statement in Game 2, and Miami is facing the possibility of being without Tucker and Lowry in Game 3. The Heat overcame injury after injury throughout the regular season to finish with the best record in the Eastern Conference, but not having two starters at this point is a lot to overcome.
Over 207.5. The Celtics and Heat combined to score 225 points in Game 1 and 229 points in Game 2. These are defensive-minded teams, but the Celtics in particular are more than capable of running up the score.
Jimmy Butler over 26.5 points. Butler followed up his 41-point performance in Game 1 with 29 points in Game 2. The Heat are going to need him to continue being aggressive offensively, especially if Tucker and Lowry are unable to go. Butler has scored over 27 points in five of his last six games.