Jimmy Butler screaming reaction

May 10, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) reacts after the basket made by Bam Adebayo (not pictured) during the second half in game five of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Heat and Celtics meet in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday
  • Miami is a slim 1.5-point favorite for the series opener
  • Find the odds, spread, preview, and picks below

The stage is finally set. The two best teams in the East during the regular season will now meet in the Conference Finals as the Miami Heat battle the Boston Celtics. Tip-off for Game 1 is at 8:30pm ET at FTX Arena in South Beach.

Miami comfortably took care of the Sixers in six games and come into the series opener with four days of rest.  The C’s meanwhile, absolutely embarrassed the defending champion, Milwaukee Bucks, in Game 7 on Sunday, handing them a 109-81 beatdown on home court.

Celtics vs Heat Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Boston Celtics +1.5 (-110) +108 Ov 204 (-110)
Miami Heat +1.5 (-110) -126 Un 204 (-110)

Odds as of May 16th at FanDuel.

The Heat are a slim 1.5-point favorite in Game 1. The Celtics won two out of three against Miami during the regular season, outscoring them by a total of 48 points in both victories combined.

Heat Betting Outlook

Miami was always expected to be a title contender heading into these playoffs as the number one seed. Needless to say, they’re currently living up to expectations.

Erik Spoelstra’s squad ran through the Atlanta Hawks in the first round in just five games, then eliminated an injury-riddled Joel Embiid and Philadelphia on Thursday in a 99-90 win in the series-deciding Game 6.

Although Embiid was clearly dealing with numerous ailments, the Heat’s defense managed to contain him for the most part. Also, the lack of help around him, from James Harden in particular, made the Heat’s life easier as well. Now, they’re tasked with slowing down Jayson Tatum, who is showing out lately.

Offensively, Jimmy Butler continues to shine in the postseason, averaging 28.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 5.4 assists on a stellar 52% clip from the field in 10 outings. Butler scored 30 or more points in three of the six games against the 76ers and is really thriving right now.

That being said, it will be interesting to see how he fares versus a Boston defense that is top-notch. They’re definitely going to make a point of limiting his production, which means the likes of Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, Victor Oladipo, and others must step up and deliver.

Herro, in particular, has struggled in the playoffs thus far but if he can come alive and start to be the same player he was during the season, it will be huge.

Celtics Betting Outlook

Boston just took the head of the snake in Giannis and the Bucks, which means they’ll truly believe anything is possible in this series after eliminating the champs.

Tatum led the way and fully proved he is one of the brightest superstars in the NBA, even erupting for a ridiculous 46 points in Game 6 as he and Antetokounmpo went toe-to-toe. In the playoffs, the All-Star is averaging 28.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per night.

The Celtics made a serious statement on Sunday, blowing Milwaukee out of the water in Game 7 by 28 points. Surprisingly though, it wasn’t Tatum who did the most damage. Grant Williams posted 27 points, draining seven triples.

Boston actually converted 22 threes in that contest because the Bucks severely struggle to defend the perimeter. It will be a different story against the Heat, however, who are elite.

Ime Udoka’s group is 5-1 on the road in the postseason and although they have just one day of rest before the series opener, the Celtics played very well vs Miami in the regular season.

On both sides of the ball, this is a fundamentally sound team. Tatum is obviously the X-factor, but the shooters need to keep hitting shots. Boston relies heavily on the three-ball and it won’t be any different here.

Heat vs Celtics Prediction

There are two ways to look at Game 1. Miami is well-rested and they’re playing at home, which should be an advantage. Boston, on the other hand, just wrapped up their series with the Bucks and has lots of momentum still.

Personally, I’m liking the Heat to get started on the right foot. It’ll likely be close, but Butler and Co. will cover.

Pick: Heat -1.5 (-110)

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