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Heat at Celtics: Heat (+1.5/-108), Celtics (-1.5/+108)
Miami Heat Odds
The fifth-seeded Heat have been the hottest team in the postseason with eight victories in nine games as they enter the Eastern Conference finals against the Celtics.
Miami’s four-game sweep of the Indiana Pacers in the first round was pretty impressive but the manner in which they outplayed the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the second round was stunning.
The Heat haven’t played since Sept. 8 so they have had time to re-energize while hoping not to lose any momentum. Jimmy Butler (21.8 points per game) and Goran Dragic (21.1) have paced the offense in the postseason though Dragic could find things a little tougher against Boston when elite defender Marcus Smart is tracking him.
Bam Adebayo (16.2 points, 11.7 rebounds) makes teams pay if opponents spend too much time guarding the perimeter and not enough protecting the interior.
Boston Celtics Odds
The third-seeded Celtics are in the Eastern Conference finals for the third time in four seasons and are hoping to take the next step this time as they face the red-hot Heat.
Boston swept the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round but was pushed to a Game 7 in the second round before beating the Toronto Raptors to advance.
Boston went 2-1 against the Heat in the regular season but Miami won the lone meeting in the “bubble,” 112-106 on Aug. 4. Small forward Gordon Hayward hasn’t played since the playoff opener on Aug. 17 due to a right ankle injury and he is close to returning though he was ruled out for Game 1 against the Heat.
Young guns Jayson Tatum (25.3 points, 10.1 rebounds) and Jaylen Brown (21.0 points, 7.6 rebounds) have led the offensive attack while Boston is hoping veteran Kemba Walker (19.6) can rediscover his shooting touch. His 3-point accuracy rate is just 28.4 percent in the playoffs.
Heat at Celtics Betting Pick for Game 1
Miami has had much more time to rest and prepare for the conference finals and figures to be more spry in Game 1. The squad is also loaded with confidence after dispatching the Bucks so look for the Heat to be the stronger team late while edging the Celtics.
Heat at Celtics Betting Pick: Heat 109, Celtics 104
Heat at Celtics Best Bet for September 15, 2020
Miami has scored 113 points or more in six of its nine postseason games while Boston has held the opponent under 100 in five of 11 playoff contests.
And if the Celtics do a good job of keeping Butler and/or Dragic in check, there is always the possibility of 3-point bomber Duncan Robinson (270 threes in the regular season) breaking out for a big game.
Heat at Celtics Best Bet: OVER 207.5 points (-110)
–Field Level Media