Celtics Need to Rebound
The Boston Celtics were undermanned in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, but probably felt like they let one slip away.
Now the action moves to Thursday, when the Miami Heat are pushing for a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.
The sportsbook has the Heat at -4 with the news that Boston’s Marcus Smart and Al Horford could miss another game.
Celtics Eye Bounce Back
It was looking good at halftime for the Boston Celtics in Game 1, but they suffered a shocking third quarter in the 118-107 defeat.
The third quarter ended with a 39-14 advantage for the Heat, which saw the Celtics’ eight-point halftime lead turn into a 17-point deficit. However, there are signs that they could snare Game 2 on the road.
Boston coach Ime Udoka wasn’t unhappy with how his team played but rued the terrible third quarter.
“We won three quarters … but obviously that one is going to stand out,” Udoka told ESPN. “We semi-bounced back in the fourth and started to play well again and matched their physicality, but 39-14 on 2-for-15 is tough to overcome.”
Jayson Tatum continued his good form and Robert Williams III was effective in the paint, which is a big part of the Celtics’ success. If Williams can produce another double-digit scoring effort, the Celtics could make the underdog odds look silly.
NBA betting odds have the Celtics at +4 and +155 in moneyline markets. There is value with those odds, but we would love to see Smart (foot) in the lineup. He is a key player in both the offense and defense, so not having him would be a major blow.
Butler Starring for Heat
We knew Jimmy Butler would be the key player for the Miami Heat and that proved true in the series opener.
Butler dropped 41 points and nine rebounds for a huge performance, where he shot 12 of 19 and made 17 free throws.
He was living at the line due to the pressure he put on the Celtics’ defense without Smart guarding him. It was an obvious mismatch and Butler took full advantage to lead the Heat to victory and a 1-0 lead.
Now is no time to take the foot off the gas as the Heat will need to secure a 2-0 lead to feel good about themselves.
Having Tyler Herro coming off the bench and scoring 18 points in 27 minutes is a bonus and that could be the difference between the teams. Boston doesn’t have that impact bench player, so we’re not surprised that betting online markets have the Heat favored.
Always tough to beat at home, the Heat should fancy their chances of heading to Boston with a 2-0 lead and money could come for them late, especially depending on who is playing for the Celtics.
Celtics vs Heat Head-to-Head
The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat met three times during the regular season, with the Celtics winning twice.
Celtics vs Heat Game Information
- Game: Celtics (51-31) vs Heat (53-29)
- Location: FTX Arena, Miami
- Day/Time: Thursday, May 19th, 8:30 p.m. ET
- Celtics vs Heat Live Stream: NBA Game Pass
Take a Look at the Other 2 NBA Eastern Conference Final
Celtics vs Heat Betting Lines
Celtics vs Heat Prediction
It’s tough to find logical reasons to bet against the Miami Heat, but we’re sticking with the Boston Celtics to get it done and even the series.
We saw enough from them in the series opener to back them with confidence. They won three of the four quarters and they could get their best defender back on court.
NBA odds are generous with the Celtics at +155, and although bettors could snap up the Celtics +4, we’re taking the moneyline value and locking it in.