The Eastern Conference final is down to a best-of-three after the Heat (63-34 SU, 55-41-1 ATS) and Celtics (61-36, 53-42-2) alternated victories through the first four games. Boston opened as a 1.5-point road favorite for tonight’s critical Game 5, marking just the second time in the last five months that the Heat have been a home dog.
Celtics vs Heat Odds & Analysis
After being favored by 4.5 and 1.5 points in its first two home games of the series, Miami finds itself as a home underdog tonight for just the second time in its last 37 games at FTX Arena. The Heat are 4-1 SU as a home dog this season, which could make them a popular choice on the moneyline for bettors making Celtics vs Heat predictions.
Celtics Determined Not To Let Down Following Blowout Victory In Game 4
Boston has responded well to its two losses in this series, opening the subsequent games with huge runs — including an 18-1 surge to start Game 4 — to win going away. Now the challenge is for the Celtics to match that intensity following Monday’s 102-82 rout.
“Both teams have matched that energy coming off of losses, and now it’s our turn to react better to a win,” coach Ime Udoka told the Associated Press.
It’ll certainly help if Marcus Smart is able to return to the lineup after missing Game 4 with a sprained ankle. The outlook is more promising for Robert Williams III, who suited up Monday after missing the previous game with knee soreness and told reporters afterward that he escaped Game 4 unscathed.
Offensively, Jayson Tatum should be in a better frame of mind after rebounding from an ugly Game 3 performance to score 31 points in 33 minutes on Monday. Tatum and Jaylen Brown also did a much better job taking care of the ball, limiting themselves to a combined four turnovers after giving the ball away 13 times in Game 3.
Heat Starting Five Looks To Bounce Back After Abysmal Performance On Monday
Miami led the NBA in bench scoring this season and the Heat reserves were sharp once again in Game 4, contributing 64 points — including a game-high 23 from Victor Oladipo. Unfortunately for Miami, that wasn’t nearly enough to overcome a historically bad performance by its starting five as Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker, Max Strus and Bam Adebayo missed 29 of their 36 field-goal attempts.
Those five players combined to score just 18 points, the fewest by a starting five in a playoff game in more than 40 years. If there was a silver lining to the blowout for the Heat, however, it was the fact that Miami was able to rest all of its starters in the fourth quarter. Butler, Lowry, Strus and Tucker have all been battling various ailments, while star sixth man Tyler Herro missed Game 4 with a groin injury and is questionable for tonight.
Celtics vs Heat Pick & Insights
Celtics: Keys To Cover
Boston has been outscored in just three of the 16 quarters so far in this series, but the Celts were outscored by 25 in one of them and by 21 in another. If the Celtics can avoid a poor frame tonight, they should be able to live up to the billing as road chalk. When you make your Celtics vs Heat prediction for tonight, it’s also worth noting Boston is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 road games and 20-6 ATS in its last 26 as the visitor.
Heat: Keys To Cover
Many feel that the Heat haven’t gotten the respect this season that a No. 1 seed deserves, and being an underdog at home could serve as extra motivation for Miami tonight. The Heat obviously need better shooting from their starters but also have to pick up their defensive play after allowing Boston to average nearly 110 points over the last four games.
NBA Computer Pick: Celtics -130 ML
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Odds Shark Staff Thu, Jun 23, 2:13pm