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Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat NBA Preview & Free Pick

Celtics vs Heat NBA Spread/Handicapping

In what will be the first nationally televised broadcast of the 2012-13 season, the NBA is starting things off right with an Eastern Conference matchup between the rival Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.

Boston Celtics (0-0) @ Miami Heat (0-0)
Tuesday Oct. 30, 2012 on TNT
American Airlines Arena, MIAMI, FL.
8:00 PM ET
Moneyline: OFF
Spread: Miami -6 from TopBet.eu
O/U: 184

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The Heat will receive their championship rings before the game, and watching the ceremony will be torture for the Celtics, as they lost in seven games to the Heat in last year’s Eastern Conference Championship.

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are looking for revenge against the Miami Heat in 2013, and they’ll have their chance to begin that process in their first game of the season.

The Celtics were one of the best defensive squads in the NBA last season. They allowed the second-fewest points in the league at just 89.3 points per game, and they were fifth in blocks per game with 5.5 per contest.

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Strangely enough, while they displayed some of the toughest defense in the NBA, they were dead last in rebounds per game, averaging just 38.8. Miami struggled on the boards last year, too, so the Celtics shouldn’t give up too many come Tuesday.

Offensively, this team struggled at times, as they averaged just 91.8 points per game. Finding such success without ever truly getting your offense flowing is a testament to how good their defense was, but in the season opener against the Heat, they must score points to keep up with the pace of the defending champions. Rajon Rondo averaged 20.9 points per game in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat last season (as well as 11.3 assists and 6.9 rebounds), and that’s the kind of scoring output this team will need in game one with Ray Allen now on the other side.

Miami Heat

The last time the Miami Heat hosted a season-opener was 2009 when they defeated the New York Knicks 115-93. This team is a far different one than the 2009 squad, but they’re looking for the same kind of result this time around.

Coming off their championship run of 2012, the Heat are hoping to start the season off on the right foot against a team that has been a thorn in their side ever since the emergence of the Big Three. The Heat will begin the night in good spirits with their ring ceremony, and if all goes according to plan, they’ll be just as happy by the time the clock strikes zero. [ad-6571516]

The Heat are going to be the favorites in the eyes of many to win a title this year, and while the Celtics should be considered contenders as well, they do have a new roster that must jell before they find success. The Heat have two additions in Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, but they know from day one what their roles are on the team. Boston will be trying to figure out how their new pieces fit together early in the year, making Miami a dangerous opponent for them right off the bat.

The Heat were nearly as good a defensive squad as the Celtics last season, but the difference is that they averaged the seventh-most points in the league. Miami will look to get out and run in the opener, and they’ll try and put Boston’s offense to the test.

Trends

Heat are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games.
Heat are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
Over is 5-1 in Heat last 6 home games.
Over is 5-1 in Heat last 6 vs. NBA Atlantic.
Over is 5-1 in Heat last 6 vs. Eastern Conference.
Over is 5-1 in Celtics last 6 vs. NBA Southeast.
Over is 5-1 in Celtics last 6 vs. Eastern Conference.

O/U Pick: Over 184
Score Prediction: Miami Heat 99 – Boston Celtics 92

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