Having been favored to win the series from the outset, the Celtics are now showing why, as they put together a tough Game Five victory on the road.
The sportsbook has the Celtics at -9 for Game Six and it will take a big effort from the Heat to even the Eastern Conference Finals at 3-3.
Heat Need to Catch Fire
Before the first game, the Miami Heat were underdogs in the series, and we’re starting to see why.
In a 93-80 loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, they ran out of ideas in the second half, which doesn’t bode well for Game Six at TD Garden.
“We are not going to make any kind of deflection or any kind of excuse,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told ESPN. “Boston beat us tonight. And let’s be clear about that. There are guys that are far from 100% on both sides.”
On the floor, there was a lack of leadership, most notably with Jimmy Butler, who seemed satisfied to play below-average basketball. We will give him a pass given that he’s playing through injury, but he wasn’t much help to his team.
It wasn’t a pretty sight, and it suggests the Heat will need to improve significantly if they want the series to continue. They’ll play in front of home fans again if they can muster enough energy to beat Boston on the road.
It’s not impossible, especially in the Eastern Conference Finals, where the competition is fierce, but our NBA betting tips couldn’t give the Heat an outright win.
Heat vs Celtics odds have the Heat at +9, so they’re solid underdogs in a tough spot on the road.
Celtics in Close-Out Spot
The Boston Celtics have now won two games in Miami, putting them in a position to close out the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday as -9 favorites.
Despite his turnover issues, Jaylen Brown has been the difference in the last few games. Brown, along with Al Horford, who has been instrumental in the Celtics’ success, has put them on the brink of making the NBA Finals.
“In the first half it was tough because we weren’t hitting shots and we were turning the ball over,” Horford told ESPN. “But the key for us was continuing to do what we do defending, and then on offense playing how we play. And eventually we were able to get it going.”
The Miami Heat didn’t show enough to suggest they’ll be up for this all-or-nothing contest, so we expect most of the money to come for the Celtics.
The lack of effort was disappointing, and the lack of execution was concerning. The Boston Celtics are the more impressive team and that could be evident as money comes for them in Heat vs Celtics odds markets.Follow us on Twitter