Game Five of the series will be played on Wednesday at FTX Arena and it all hangs in the balance. The Game Five winner has an excellent series win rate, so it’s an important game.
The Celtics have opened as -1 favorites on the road, so there is little wiggle room between the Eastern Conference rivals.
Can the Celtics Continue On?
In Game Three, Jayson Tatum was not at his best, but that was not the case on Monday.
Boston’s leader was at his brilliant best when dropping 31 points and a repeat of that effort would be enough to be competitive in Game Four.
Let’s not forget, this one was simply a home victory, and they still need to win on the road. They’ve already defeated the Heat at FTX Arena, so they’re not in foreign territory during this series.
“Obviously, we knew how important this game was,” Tatum told ESPN. “Everybody just had to come up with a different sense of urgency.” Celtics coach Ime Udoka is hoping to see more consistency when they hit the road.
“Just got to muster that same energy when we came off a win as well as a loss,” Udoka said. “This is a three-game series now. Can’t always just flip the mindset when we come off a loss and get a little desperate.”
When Tatum is firing, the Celtics are a much better team. They managed to score a 102-82 win without Marcus Smart, who is still nursing an injury, however, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him in Wednesday’s lineup.
Home Heat Needed
The Miami Heat came out flatter than a pancake on Monday and a big turnaround is needed, especially from the starting crew. Be sure to join us for every Celtics vs Heat Game Preview.
We haven’t seen the Miami Heat starters play worse in a long time, but Monday’s performance was surprising to all.
They scored 18 points, with Jimmy Butler scoring six points and Kyle Lowry scoring three points in his comeback from injury.
The Heat’s performance would have been considerably worse if it hadn’t been for Victor Oladipo’s 23 points off the bench. They came out flat and never improved, so it was a wasted opportunity.
For those who bet on the NBA finals, it was a shockingly-bad performance from the top-seeded Heat. Bouncing back has been their modus operandi throughout the series, so the +1 line at the sportsbook could be value.
Despite their poor performance, we expected the Heat to open as favorites. There could be some bias towards the Celtics, so bettors are getting a value betting line for the home team.
Could the Betting Line Move?
There is every chance the current betting line could move and it mostly depends on injuries.
Marcus Smart and Jimmy Butler have been under injury clouds throughout the series, but the Heat now have Tyler Herro to be worried about.Follow us on Twitter