Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics Predictions: NBA Playoff Picks
It’s truly amazing the Celtics could be laying points tonight, down 3-1 to the Miami Heat. But Miami has played the underdog quite well, despite not being a favorite even in a closeout scenario. They’ve certainly played like one, and the latest came from Tyler Herro’s explosion off the bench.
Heat +3 @ -103
It’s a tight enough line that you could easily argue taking the money line, I think the play here is taking the points. Boston has been battling back with the return of Gordon Heyward but having a scoreless half for Jason Tatum proved to be too much. They aren’t going to blow Miami out tonight no matter who goes off for Boston. The Heat are either going to keep this close or beat the Celtics pretty bad – ending their season. There is a clear sense of desperation for Boston, and it should be taken advantage of by putting the pressure back on them. The reality is it should be as close to a pick-em as possible, but with this type of offer, I can’t pass it up! For everyone concerned the Heat will let up, look no further than Jimmy Butler. The savvy vet is going to do everything in his power to close out this series and prepare for the Lakers.
Draw No-Bet 2nd Half Winner Heat @ +106
The Celtics are going to come out like their life depends on it. If you didn’t have to lay so much, I’d say ride Boston in both of the first quarters and the first half together. The second half, however, belongs to the Heat. Won’t be easy by any means, but this is where the leadership of Butler and Goran Dragic come through. Miami is going to go right back to Herro as much as they can, forcing the Celtics to adjust by keeping starters out longer in the game, especially earlier. The Heat will actually have more legs in the second half, enough to tighten any lead and provide a 2nd Half winner. Even the books know it’s going to be tough for either team to truly pull away, but a positive return is worth the risk here. I also stayed away from the draw bet, mainly because of how close the game should be. The narrative would play out where the Celtics jump out early, then the Heat close out the lead late, winning the second half and quite possibly the game itself.
Over Jimmy Butler 19.5 Points @ +100
The good news is that despite Herro splashing everything in sight, there were still enough shots to go around for the Heat’s big 3. Even with Bam putting in solid work down low, both Dragic and Butler were able to put up 20 shots each. There will be a couple of times tonight where Butler will have to fill in the cracks, help start or continue a run, or simply be the glue in the scoring. The magnitude of the game makes me think he will have even more chances than normal to be the hero, not Herro. We know Butler is going to be aggressive and try to get to the line, putting as many Celtics in foul trouble as possible. Don’t expect him to launch from 3, but he won’t need to in order to get to 20 points. The even money return should jump out a little bit, but it’s worth it here, capitalizing on the big moment for Jimmy. Even if Herro steps back and doesn’t pour in points, that should open up more chances for Butler to have the ball in his hands. So long as he stays out of foul trouble, this is an easy over for Bulter!