Game 1 to Set Series Tone
The Eastern Conference Finals tip off on Tuesday when the Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics.
It should be an incredibly close series as the Heat have been lying in wait for the Celtics, who overcame the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in a tight seven-game series.
The sportsbook has the Heat as -1½ favorites to win the opening game.
Celtics are Title Contenders
Sunday’s 109-81 win over the Milwaukee Bucks showcased why the Boston Celtics have title hopes.
It was a professional win where all the big names stepped up, so the Celtics are a team who can give the Heat a stern test.
Bettors have struggled with determining if playing on rest or no rest is better for a team in the playoffs. The Heat are well-rested following their series win over Philadelphia, but the Celtics are riding the wave of momentum.
We think this situation could favor the Celtics, who have their big guns firing and have all the confidence in the world after winning Game 7 in dominating fashion.
Jayson Tatum had 23 points and believes his team loves having their backs against the wall.
“As much as it hurt to lose Game 5, I was looking forward to that challenge,” Tatum told ESPN. “I believe in myself, I believe in this team. I expected to play the way I did and for us to respond the way we did.”
NBA betting odds have the Celtics as +1½ underdogs and +105 in moneyline markets, which is a fair price for the visitors.
Playing on the road is the only worry for the Celtics, but bettors should be confident of backing an in-form team with the wind beneath their sails.
Heat Holding Steady at Home
Some teams are tough to beat at home and the Miami Heat are one of those teams.
They went 29-12 at FTX Arena in the regular season and they took care of the 76ers with ease. It’s a good sign, but they did lose a game to Boston at home 95-78, so that could play on their minds.
However, the Heat have consistently demonstrated to be the best team in the Eastern Conference. Beating a team with Joel Embiid and James Harden isn’t easy, but the Heat defense stood up.
Jimmy Butler’s offensive production also stepped up against the 76ers, which should worry the Celtics. The Heat leader has been instrumental in leading the young team and he could be the difference maker.
It comes as no surprise to see NBA betting markets open the Heat as favorites. They get the benefit of home-court advantage and they’re a quality team.
Celtics vs Heat Head-to-Head
The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat met three times during the regular season, with the Celtics taking a 2-1 split.
They won the first two games by a combined margin of 47 points before losing the most recent meeting 106-98 at home.
Celtics vs Heat Game Information
- Game: Celtics (51-31) vs Heat (53-29)
- Location: FTX Arena, Miami
- Day/Time: Tuesday, May 16, 8:30 p.m. ET
- Celtics vs Heat Live Stream: NBA Game Pass
Celtics vs Heat Betting Lines
Celtics vs Heat Prediction
Betting against the Miami Heat at home isn’t always the best strategy, but the Boston Celtics have been good to us and we’re keeping the faith.
They looked incredible in Game 7 against the Bucks after facing an early deficit. The team is packed with courageous players and raw talent, which is a successful recipe for the opening game of the series.
Playing on the road makes it harder, but Boston has momentum and Miami might have had a touch too long to prepare, so it could come out rusty.
Take the Celtics moneyline and with the +1½ start.