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Struggling Celtics Move on Without All-Star Brown

Evan Fournier and the Boston Celtics are small betting underdogs Tuesday night as they host the Miami Heat.

It’s already been a tough week in Boston, where the Celtics (35-33 SU, 32-36 ATS) appear headed for the play-in tournament and will be without Jaylen Brown for the rest of the season. Boston opened as a 1.5-point home underdog against the Heat (37-31, 31-35-2), who beat the Celtics two days ago at TD Garden.

Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics
  • Date/Time: May 11, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: TD Garden
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Opening Odds: Heat -1.5 | O/U 219.5 (Line History)
  • Heat vs Celtics Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

After being 1-point underdogs Sunday in Boston, the Heat opened as 1.5-point favorites for tonight’s rematch. Oddsmakers opened the total nearly 3 points lower than Sunday’s contest, but it had been bet up to 222.5 by mid-morning Tuesday.

Miami News & Notes

The Heat took a two-game lead over Boston for sixth in the East with Sunday’s 130-124 victory, but they can’t afford to let up. A loss to the Celtics tonight would mean Boston would own the tiebreaker if the teams tie for sixth, and Miami still has to face Philadelphia and Milwaukee before closing out the season at Detroit. If the Heat manage to win out, however, they could still finish as high as fourth because they own the tiebreaker against the Knicks.

Jimmy Butler took control for the Heat down the stretch of Sunday’s critical win, scoring 22 second-half points while also leading the team in assists (11) and rebounds (eight).

Bam Adebayo added 20 points and Trevor Ariza scored 19 — 15 of them in the second quarter — as Miami’s offense continued its late-season surge. Despite averaging just 107.6 points per game this season, the Heat have scored 120 or more in four of their last six games and have gone OVER the total in nine straight.

Boston News & Notes

The Celtics are reeling following Monday’s surprising announcement that Brown will miss the rest of the season with a torn ligament in his left wrist. Brown, a first-time all-star averaging 24.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, had played through a sore wrist before sitting out Boston’s last three games with a sprained ankle.

Boston is also struggling to pull its way out of a 3-6 SU and 2-7 ATS spiral in its last nine games that may have the Celtics headed for a spot in the play-in tournament. “Everybody knew the circumstances … and they outplayed us,” coach Brad Stevens told reporters after Sunday’s loss to the Heat, when Boston trailed by 24 points in the first half.

Guard Evan Fournier, who led the Celtics on Sunday with 30 points, took things a step further. “When you can just fix things by being more aggressive and turning it up, that just shows a lack of physicality, in my opinion,” he told The Celtics Wire.

Fournier should get plenty of opportunity to back up his comments going forward as he’s expected to take Brown’s place in the starting lineup for the rest of the season. The Celtics could also be without another starter, center Robert Williams, on Tuesday after he left Sunday’s game with a toe injury. Tristan Thompson would likely get the start if Williams can’t suit up.

Betting Pick: OVER 222.5

Boston has allowed at least 120 points in four of its last five games and should have a tough time once again trying to slow down this rolling Heat attack.

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Shark Bites
  • The OVER is 9-0 in Miami’s last 9 games.
  • The OVER is 7-1 in Boston’s last 8 games.
  • Miami is 6-3 SU and ATS in its last 9 vs Boston.