The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics meet Friday (7:30 p.m. ET) at TD Garden for the first time since the Eastern Conference Finals. Both teams started their season 1-0.
Boston opened as a 4.5-point favorite (-110) and -195 on the moneyline. Conversely, Miami is +4.5 (-110) on the spread and +165 to win outright.
*Current Odds: Bos -7.5 (-113) Heat +7.5 (-107) Over/Under 230 (-110/-110) – Currently No ML
Editor’s Note: Odds can and will change frequently (sometimes minute for minute) be sure to check back right here at the bottom of the page for the most up-to-date lines and odds.
Can the Celtics get some early season payback? Read on as we break down the NBA matchup and dive into the odds for our Celtics vs Heat prediction.
Location: TD Garden; Boston
Celtics vs Heat Betting Trends
The Miami Heat went 46-58-3 against the spread last season, producing the fifth worst cover rate (44.2%) in the NBA. Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics’ 56-46 record ATS (54.9%) was the eighth best in the NBA. The total has gone Under in four of the last five games between these NFL teams. That’s important to remember when making your Celtics vs Heat prediction.
So Far, So Good for Celtics
The Boston Celtics looked as advertised in Wednesday’s season opener, defeating the108-104. A 4-point favorite, Boston got 34 points and 11 rebounds from Jayson Tatum, while Kristaps Porzingis added 30 points and eight boards in his Celtics debut. In all, four different Celtics scored in double figures.
Boston is a +175 co-favorite to win the Eastern Conference and also a top pick to win it all, with NBA odds of +400. The Celtics seemed to validate that against the Knicks, shooting 48.1% while displaying an impressive depth of talent.
Tatum is a legitimate superstar, an MVP candidate (+700) who is still only 25. He has plenty of help too, with Jaylen Brown, Porzingis and Jrue Holiday, acquired earlier this month in a three-team deal.
The Celtics were elite on both ends of the floor last season, the only team in the NBA to rank top 5 both offensively and defensively. Their plus-6.5 points differential led the NBA. After winning 57 games to secure the second seed in the East, they wound up losing to the Miami Heat in the conference finals.
After a busy offseason, the Celtics seem primed to take the next step this year. Their talent is obvious.
Encore in Miami
The Miami Heat avoided a surprise out of the gate, edging the Pistons 103-102 on Wednesday. Miami, a 9.5-point favorite, got a team-high 22 points from Bam Adebayo. Jimmy Butler (19 points, 13 rebounds) and Kevin Love (13 points, 10 rebounds) both added double-doubles.
After storming to the NBA Finals as a No. 8 seed last year, the Heat won’t be able to sneak up on anyone. They’re among the top contenders on the NBA odds board, priced +1200 to win the Eastern Conference and +2500 to win it all.
While the Heat fell short in their highly publicized bid to acquire Damian Lillard — the seven-time NBA All-Star was ultimately traded from Portland to Milwaukee, where he’ll team up with Giannis Antetokounmpo — they still have enough talent to make a serious run this June. Butler is among the most productive NFL players in the league, worth far more than his +6000 MVP odds may indicate. He averaged 26.9 points in the playoffs last season, 7.9 more than the regular season.
Miami was one of the NBA’s best defensive teams, holding opponents to an average of 109.8 points. Only Cleveland (106.9) allowed fewer points per game. While the Heat snuck into the playoffs through the play-in tournament following a 44-38 finish, they wound up upsetting Milwaukee, New York and Boston to return to the Finals for the first time since the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign. There they lost in five games to Denver.
The Heat are still only projected for 44.5 wins. But they should have no trouble clearing that bar, so long as their top players stay off the NBA injury report today.
Handicapping the Game
While Miami is 7-2 over its last nine games against Boston, much of that can be attributed to the Heat’s NBA playoff performance. They surprised practically everyone last season, becoming the first No. 8 seed to reach the Finals since 1999.
But again, they won’t catch anyone by surprise this year — at least not now. While oddsmakers are obviously confident in their ability to keep pace with Boston on the road, the Celtics are a step ahead of where they were last May. Holliday and Porzingis were big upgrades.
The Celtics looked strong in their opener, and that should continue Friday against Miami. Consider that when making your Celtics vs Heat prediction.
Current Odds: Bos -7.5 (-113) Heat +7.5 (-107) Over/Under 230 (-110/-110) – No Current ML
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