In what began as a competitive game between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics, the home team Heat pulled away with a dominant third quarter to win the series’ first game. The Celtics vs Heat odds positioned Miami as a similar-sized favorite. Boston has been here before and the Heat will need to be ready for a better prepared Celtics, who could have a full roster, for Game 2.
Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat Game 2 Info:
- Game: Boston Celtics (51-31-0) vs Miami Heat (53-29)
- Location: FTX Arena
- Day/Time: Thursday, 8:30 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPN
Celtics Could Get Big Boost if Al Horford Returns
The short-handed Boston Celtics put up a valiant effort to open the game against the Miami Heat, however, a disastrous third quarter put Boston in a hole from which they could not climb their way out. Boston’s shooting, which remains streaky as ever, went just 2-of-15 from the field (0-of-7 from 3). The Heat had just as many points from the foul line as Boston had for the entire 4th quarter. How will this affect the Celtics vs Heat odds?
Absences are just a part of the issue although missing both Al Horford and Marcus Smart did not help Boston’s cause. Horford has been playing tremendously in these playoffs. He has been Boston’s most efficient player on both ends of the floor and the team is 9.2 points better when he’s playing.
More notably, Horford and Smart give Boston more options in protecting the interior against the likes of Jimmy Butler. The swingman lit Boston up for 41 points with 16 of them coming in the paint. He also kept drawing fouls and scored 17 from the charity stripe. With the return of Horford and/or Smart, Boston gets two versatile defenders, which could swing the momentum of this series.
The One-Man Miami Heat
The Celtics are not the only team missing key contributors. The Miami Heat have been without Kyle Lowry for a while now, but Jimmy Butler has carried the team on his back, not unlike a certain Slovenian from the Dallas Mavericks. If you bet on Miami Heat, you better be a Butler fan.
He recorded his fifth 40+ point game on Tuesday. What’s more impressive is that he did not hit a single three (and attempted just two). The six-time All-Star is now averaging 29.8 points in the playoffs with a 57.1 percent effective field goal rate. He also leads the playoffs in PER (33.1), win shares (3.1), and box-plus minus (13.8).
Miami was able to neutralize Boston mostly thanks to Butler who also defended both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Tatum and Brown shot a combined 2-of-11 (0-of-7 from deep) when Butler was defending them. With PJ Tucker getting banged up and Lowry still questionable to play, Butler will need to do it again. So far the 32-year-old has shown no signs of slowing down.
How Important Was Game 1?
The Boston Celtics proved in the last series against the Milwaukee Bucks that despite losing Game 1, they can rally and win the series. With the Miami Heat winning Game 1, they have taken a lead in the NBA Series Prices and are now slightly favored to win the series.
History is not on Boston’s side, however. In the NBA Conference Finals, only 22.5 percent of teams that lose the first game come back to win the series. The Celtics’ NBA Finals betting odds have taken a bit of a hit though – folks backing Boston could find value here as this is not the same team that folded to Miami in the NBA Bubble back in 2020.
Celtics vs Heat Betting Trends
The Miami Heat have won 10 straight games at home. The Celtics, on the flipside, are 9-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last ten games on the road. Miami is 3-2 against Boston in its last five games hosting them.
The total has gone over in seven of the last 10 games between Boston and Miami. Also, four of Boston’s last six games in Miami have gone over.
The Heat have the best defensive rating (101.7) and net rating (16.6) at home in the playoffs. The Celtics have the best net rating (2.9) on the road.
Boston is 1-3 in the playoffs when Jayson Tatum shoots under 44 percent, which is his average field goal percentage in the postseason. Be sure to look for the latest updates from the Celtics vs Heat odds.Follow us on Twitter