The Miami Heat needed a heroic performance Wednesday night – and they got one from the guy with the fitting surname. Tyler Herro’s 37-point outburst put the Heat on the verge of an NBA Finals berth, and they’ll take their first crack at getting there Friday night against Boston. Miami improved to an incredible 11-2 SU and ATS with that nerve-racking 112-109 victory in Game 4.
Sportsbook Odds Analysis
Boston opened as a 3-point favorite but has since been bet up to -3.5 (exactly where the line had landed each of the previous two games). The total opened at 214.5, the highest of the series to date.
Miami News & Notes
How difficult has it been to corral the Heat? They’ve had four different leading scorers in their past five games, including three (Goran Dragic, Bam Adebayo, Herro) in the first four games of the Eastern Conference final. Those three, along with Jimmy Butler, are averaging between 18.8 and 21.8 points per game in the series – which is great for the Heat, but a challenge for point prop bettors.
That said, it’s worth considering another OVER on Herro’s point total in the potential series-clinching fifth game Friday. Herro is averaging 29.5 points over his past two games and has clearly been given more leeway on offense, having taken 39 shots in Games 3 and 4 combined. He isn’t going away, and sportsbooks might be slow to adjust to this new reality.
Boston News & Notes
When your best player is held without a point in the entire Sportsbook half, your chances of winning diminish significantly. And while the Celtics made it interesting at the end, they can’t help but wonder what could have been had Jayson Tatum not put up a first-half goose egg. He finished with 28 points on the night, but it wasn’t enough to keep Boston from the brink of elimination.
Whatever your book has listed for Tatum’s Game 5 point prop, take the OVER (unless it starts with a 3). Tatum admitted after Game 4 that going scoreless in the Sportsbook half was “unacceptable,” and based on how he single-handedly led the Celtics back into Wednesday’s contest, it wouldn’t surprise us in the least to see him have his best game of the postseason.
Betting Pick: OVER 214.5 (-110)
We’ve seen terrific offensive performances from both sides in this series, leading to OVERs in three of the first four games; even with a higher total Friday, this is a trend we’re banking on continuing.