Jimmy Butler drives on Payton Prichard

May 17, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) dribbles the ball around Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard (11) during the second half of game one of the 2022 eastern conference finals at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Heat vs Celtics Game 2 odds favor Miami by 3.5-points on Thursday, May 19 at 8:30pm ET
  • Marcus Smart (foot) is probable to play after missing Game 1, but Al Horford (Health and Safety Protocols) is doubtful
  • Read below for the Heat vs Celtics odds, analysis, and betting prediction

Anyone who’s ever wondered why Jimmy Butler is commonly referred to as “Playoff Jimmy” needs to look no further than his Game 1 performance versus the Celtics. Miami’s star put the Heat on his back in the series opener with a 41-point effort, leading his team to a 118-107 victory.

Butler and Miami now look to take a 2-0 series lead on Thursday before the scene shifts to Boston, and oddsmakers are bullish on their chances.

Celtics vs Heat Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Boston Celtics +145 +3.5 (-110) O 207.5 (-110)
Miami Heat -165 -3.5 (-110) U 207.5 (-110)

Odds as of May 18th from FanDuel Sportsbook.

The Heat are currently a 3.5-point favorite, in a contest that features a total of 207.5. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30pm ET at the FTX Arena in Miami, with ESPN providing the broadcast coverage.

As for the series market, Miami is now a -145 favorite to advance to the conference final. They own the second shortest price tag in the NBA Championship odds at +275, while Boston’s title odds have been lengthened to +300.

Heat vs Celtics Injury News

Boston was dealt a pair of devastating blows just hours before the start of Game 1. Starting point guard Marcus Smart was ruled out due to a foot injury he suffered in Game 7 versus the Bucks, while Al Horford was placed in the health and safety protocols.

Smart, who was questionable leading up to Game 1, is currently listed as probable for Game 2, but Horford is once again expected to be out. There’s no definitive timetable for Horford’s return, but should he return two consecutive negative PCR tests 24 hours apart, he’ll be eligible for Game 3.

Both of their absences were severely felt as their replacements struggled. Derrick White started for Smart but managed only three points and four assists in 29 minutes, and was a minus-11. Game 7 hero Grant Williams got the nod for Horford, but recorded just seven points and one rebound, and was a minus-14.

On the Miami side, Kyle Lowry missed his fourth straight game with a hamstring injury. Lowry hasn’t played since Game 4 of the Heat’s second round series, and has already been ruled out for Thursday.

Heat vs Celtics Betting Analysis

Butler’s 40+ point effort was the fifth time in his Miami tenure that he’s eclipsed the 40-point mark in a playoff game. Interestingly enough, he’s never reached 40 points in a regular season game with the Heat.

Seventeen of his points came in the third quarter, where the game was ultimately won. Miami outscored Boston 39-14 in the third, and held the Celtics without a point for the first seven minutes of the frame.

The Heat forced eight turnovers in the quarter, and held Boston to 2-of-15 (13.3%) from the field. That marked the Celtics’ worst field percentage in a quarter in four years, and it came after they shot over 60% in the opening 24 minutes.

Tyler Herro added 18 points and eight rebounds for Miami, while Gabe Vincent chipped in 17 points filling in for Lowry.

Jayson Tatum led Boston with 29 points, but scored just eight points in the final 24 minutes, and committed six turnovers in the third quarter alone.

Miami, who leads all remaining playoff teams in both offensive and defensive rating, shot 49% from the field and recorded 12 blocks, while limiting the Celtics to a 46% field goal percentage.

Heat vs Celtics Pick

Boston has yet to drop back-to-back games so far in the postseason, but injuries and absences are piling up. Smart likely won’t be at 100% if he suits up on Thursday, while the downgrade from Horford to Williams is significant.

The Celtics were 5-8 without Horford this season, and 1-5 in games versus playoff teams. Don’t forget Robert Williams III isn’t playing at full strength either after missing the final four games of the Bucks series.

On the other side, the Heat continue to find ways to win without Lowry. Miami is 7-0 this postseason without Lowry, beating the spread in six of those games. The Heat have also won 10 straight at home dating back to the regular season, covering in nine of those outings.

Pick: Miami Heat -3.5 (-110)

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