The Heat will take another crack at trying to eliminate the Celtics tonight. Boston comes in with more than just a little life left, they fueled a 7-point comeback on Friday night, extending the series to at least Sunday.
BET: Heat +1 @ +120
However you choose to get to the point of elimination, the fact remains Miami will close out the series tonight. Whether it’s something on the floor, like the supporting casts stepping up – in this case for the Heat. Maybe it’s some conspiracy about how the NBA doesn’t want this thing going past 6, especially since LeBron is already waiting in the Finals. Either way we find ourselves taking the underdog Heat, but in this case betting them down a few points for that amazing return. If you believe – like I do – the Heat will win this game, then you won’t need the point. I’m sure you have already asked, “Why not just take the ML?” which is very fair. But I would still like a little insurance in the event the Celtics win this thing at the buzzer. I do expect a close game, one that Boston won’t be knocked out of until the final horn. It’s not a lock that the Heat move on despite my personal feelings of wanting to watch them play the Lakers! There is a small amount of middle ground here to work with if you take the point, and still get the +120 in return.
BET: Over 213.5 (@ -115
The Heat gave up a series high 121 points last time out, and you have to think adjustments will be made. The problem is they can’t slow down anything Boston really does, especially with another target in Gordon Heyward back. Both Jimmy Butler and Jason Tatum have done great jobs leading their teams, but not in scoring or anything that would truly jump out in the box score. Instead, it’s been the work of guys like Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro, Marcus Smart, and Kemba Walker. Look for a huge night from Jalyen Brown as both teams should get you over the 213.5 mark. I was looking at 214 but more concerned about it actually hitting that number, so it’s not a huge loss to buy that extra point. We know the Heat and Celtics have great scoring abilities off the bench, so that is another thing to push this game over the number. Even while blowing that lead and watching Boston step all over them, Miami was able to get past 104 points, which is all we need. Add a bunch of fouls called on anyone driving, and it’s a lock.
BET: Jaylen Brown Over 20.5 points @ -110
I really like the opportunities for Brown tonight to have a big game, or at least get me to the low 20’s. Brown has hit over 20 points in four straight games, so even in a losing effort the points have been there. Game 1 was the last time he didn’t hit at least 21 on the night. He hasn’t seen the return of Heyward hurt any scoring chances. In fact, the struggles with Tatum – which are a big result of Miami’s focus – have allowed Brown to assume an even bigger role scoring the basketball. The other element of this bet is trying to figure out a player who despite his team winning or losing, is geared to have a big night. Brown will be out there no matter what and continues to be one of the top Celtics in minutes played. He will have chances, and he gets chances. Coming off a big 28-point night where he shot a series-high 23 times. Expect another bout of Brown launching tonight!