The Miami Heat were the best team in the Eastern Conference during the regular season, but they are likely to be eliminated from the East Finals on Friday night in Boston as the C’s are nearly double-digit favorites on the NBA odds for Game 6.
How to Bet Heat at Celtics NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Friday, 8:30 PM ET
- Where: TD Garden
- TV: ESPN
- Stream: ESPN app
- Radio: Tunein.com
- NBA Odds: Celtics -8.5 (total 201)
Why Bet on Miami?
The Heat led Game 5 on Wednesday at the half against Boston but couldn’t buy a bucket in the second half and lost 93-80 to fall down 3-2 in the series.
Boston couldn’t get anything going in the first half offensively and then the third quarter hit. Boston won that quarter 32-16 and there wasn’t a thing the Heat team could get going with the ball. Boston won ugly, and they found their offense before the Miami could with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combining for 47 on a night when the Heat’s starters scored 42. Miami’s halfcourt offense finished at 59.3 points-per-play, to Boston’s 90.2.
The Heat finished 7-for-45 on three-pointers and the 38 misses were the second most in a single playoff game in NBA history. Kyle Lowry and Max Strus went a combined 0-15 in Game 5. That’s the worst 0-fer for a starting backcourt in playoff game since starters were officially tracked in 1970-71. The two have scored a combined seven points in the last two games. Strus has missed his last 16 field goal attempts, as he only scored four points off fouls Wednesday. Lowry has made just one field goal in the last two games.
Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro has been out of the lineup for the past two games with a groin injury, and his status for Game 6 is questionable. Herro averaged almost 21 points a game this season, and that production has proved irreplaceable, as Miami has averaged 81 as a team over the losses in Games 4 and 5.
In addition, Jimmy Butler has not been his usual self, scoring only 13 points on 22 percent shooting on Wednesday. Butler has shot a troubling 7-for-32 (21.9 percent) over the past two contests. He opened the semifinals by scoring 70 points across his first two games but has averaged just 9.0 points over the subsequent three matchups.
Miami struggled drastically as a team in the defeat, shooting just 31.9 percent overall and putting up a paltry 80 points. Bam Adebayo was among the few bright spots, leading the Heat with 18 points and 10 boards for his second double-double of the series
About the only bright spot in Game 5 was Miami grabbing 19 offensive rebounds, tying the second-most in Heat postseason history. Only their 20 offensive boards on 4/21/11 at Philadelphia is more.
Miami has recorded +152 points in their 10 playoff victories, averaging a +15.2 scoring margin in their wins. Miami has not trailed during the fourth quarter in all 10 of their postseason wins in these playoffs.
Coach Erik Spoelstra is 11-8 (.579) all-time in elimination games and hasn’t lost an Eastern Conference Finals elimination game, going a perfect 3-0 in those contests.
Why Bet on Boston?
The Celtics are one win shy of reaching the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010 when they lost to the Lakers. In Game 5 vs. Miami, the Celtics had their full roster available for just the fourth time this postseason and the first time in the series.
The Heat held onto a slim 42-37 advantage at halftime on Wednesday, at which time the Celtics asked themselves a very important question, according to Jayson Tatum: “We basically just talked about: How much does it mean to us?” he recalled. The C’s dominated the second half to win 103-90.
Jaylen Brown and Tatum shot 3-for-17 in the 1st half (19%) of Game 5, their worst combined field-goal percentage in any half this season (including the regular season). But both turned it around in the second half. The Celtics rattled off eight unanswered points to start the second on 4-of-4 shooting from the field. Boston’s hot start to the third period arrived after the team scored just 37 points on a woeful 38.2 percent shooting during the first half.
Not only did Tatum log 22 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, but he also dished out a game-high nine assists during his 44-plus minutes of action. Brown finished with a game-high 25 points. Boston outscored Miami by 17 points while Tatum was on the floor. That game him the second-best plus/minus rating of the game, behind only Brown’s plus-20.
Derrick White came off the bench to score 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting to go along with five assists, two steals, a block and a rebound. Al Horford posted 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks and one steal. He has been a big contributor in the series with averages of 12.8 points, 9.3 boards, 3.5 assists and 2.5 blocks over the four games in which he’s played.
Marcus Smart, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, returned after missing a game and hit just 1-of-5 shots for five points, five rebounds, four assists and a 3-pointer in just 24 minutes of action. He’s clearly bothered by his ankle injury but will play Friday. Center Robert Williams also is playing through injury but had six points (2-2 FG, 2-2 FT), 10 rebounds, three blocks and one steal over 27 minutes.
The Celtics made three more free throws (17) than Miami attempted (14) in Game 5. Tough to lose that way.
- Heat are 13-6-1 ATS in their last 20 road games.
- Heat are 15-7 ATS in their last 22 games overall.
- Heat are 19-9 ATS in their last 28 games as an underdog.
- Celtics are 11-5-1 ATS in their last 17 games following a straight up win.
- Celtics are 20-8-1 ATS in their last 29 games overall.
- Heat are 11-4 ATS in the last 15 meetings in Boston.