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Celtics’ Depth Could Be Too Much for Well-Rested Heat

Heat vs Celtics Betting Odds September 15, 2020 Jayson Tatum Bam Adebayo

The Miami Heat are eight wins away from pulling off a monumental upset – and making Heat futures bettors a mint in the process. But the next task will be just as challenging as the previous one, with the Boston Celtics awaiting them in the Eastern Conference final that gets underway Tuesday. Miami knocked off Milwaukee in Round 2, while Boston outlasted Toronto.

Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics
  • Date/Time: September 15, 6:40 p.m. ET
  • Arena: HP Field House
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Heat -1 | O/U 212 (Line History)
  • Heat vs Celtics Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Miami came into the series opener as a 1-point favorite, but that line has since shifted in favor of the Celtics -1.5 in most spots. The total of 212 has dropped to 209.5.

Miami News & Notes

The Heat operated a top-10 defense during the regular season but have amped things up at that end of the court in the playoffs. Miami has held opponents below 105 points in six of its first nine postseason games, winning eight of those to go from +35000 long shots to win the NBA championship at the outset of the regular season down to the +450 range.

The catalyst for the Heat on the offensive end has been Jimmy Butler, who is averaging 21.8 points while shooting nearly 48 percent from the field. But with Boston likely to target Butler extensively, look for some valuable secondary scoring from point guard Goran Dragic, who has averaged 21.1 points through nine playoff games while making 2.7 three-pointers per outing.

Boston News & Notes

The Celtics needed every ounce of fortitude to knock off the Raptors in seven games, and might be at a temporary disadvantage given that the Heat needed only five games to defeat the top-seeded Bucks. But there’s some good news, with small forward Gordon Hayward expected to return at some point in the series after suffering an ankle injury in Boston’s playoff opener.

Even if we don’t see Hayward right away, the Celtics have more than enough skill at both ends of the court to make life tough on the Heat. Jayson Tatum has been outstanding in the postseason, averaging 25.3 points and 10.1 rebounds. Jaylen Brown (21.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg) has been a terrific complementary option, while Kemba Walker (19.6 ppg) has been solid in stretches.

Betting Pick: Boston -1.5 (-110)

The Celtics’ scoring balance and sensational defense will give even the best teams fits – and while the Heat are also strong at point prevention, they simply don’t have the scoring depth to keep up.

Shark Bites
  • Miami is 8-1 SU and ATS in the postseason.
  • Boston is 8-3 SU and ATS in the playoffs.
  • The UNDER is 7-3 in Miami’s last 10 games.