Free NBA Pick: Celtics vs. Heat NBA Odds
Looking for Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat free NBA picks & NBA odds? NBA betting sees the Celtics taking on the Heat on Thursday, May 19th, 2022 at FTX Arena. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NBA basketball matchups so stay tuned for more FREE daily NBA hoops predictions like this Celtics Heat matchup.
2022 NBA Playoffs Handicapping – Eastern Conference Finals
(0-1) Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat (1-0)
Date: Thursday, May 19th
Time: 8:30 PM EST
Venue: FTX Arena, Miami, Florida
NBA Moneyline Odds: Celtics +155 | Heat -152 (Bet Now!)
NBA Betting Odds: Heat -3.5
NBA Betting Total: 207.5
Game two of the Eastern Conference Finals between the second-seeded Boston Celtics and top-seeded Miami Heat tips off on Thursday, May 19th. Miami took the early series lead with a 118-107 Game 1 victory.
Boston won the season series 2-1. This is the fifth occasion these clubs have met in the postseason with the Heat owning the advantage of winning three of the four prior series.
In fact, the last two occasions the squads met also occurred in the Conference Finals with the most recent occasion in 2020 when Miami won 4-2 inside the Orlando bubble.
Most analysts and oddsmakers jumped on the Celtics as early series favorites but that was partially based on the depth of the club which was immediately put to the test.
Marcus Smart’s absense was somewhat expected but the shocker was Al Horford who practiced in the morning but had to enter health and safety protocols for the third time this season.
Unless he produces a series of negative tests or meets an acceptable viral load, Horford will be isolated a minimum of five days which will keep him out for at least three games.
The other aspect is how this impacts his endurance. In hindsight, Horford looking gassed in Game 7 versus Milwaukee which likely hinted of the onset of COVID.
Fortunately, Robert Williams was back and made an impact (18 points, nine rebounds, two blocks) but was limited to 28 minutes because he’s not in game shape having missed time due to his sore knee.
It was a tale of two halves for Jayson Tatum with an impressive 21 points (9-14), four rebounds, five assists, steal, and block before half time. As dominant as he was in the first half his second half was the polar opposite with eight points (1-7) and six turnovers in the third (seven total).
Jaylen Brown experienced the reverse scoring seven points in the first half but finishing with a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds. Payton Pritchard (18) was the other double-figure scorer.
Game 7 star Grant Williams was mic’d up for TV and let it get to his head as he was frequently caught giving speeches to his team about how to play and telling Udoka to “move on” (re: a foul).
Don’t be surprised if Williams experiences a major downshift in minutes when Smart and Horford return as the coach makes his point about team over individual.
Smart (foot) is probable, Horford (quartine) doubtful and Sam Hauser (shoulder) is out.
Rust reared it’s ugly head for the Heat early as they struggled to find their rhythm and weren’t locked in defensively.
That changed dramatically in the second half as the rest advantage and a very inspired Jimmy Butler took over. Jimmy Buckets outscored the Celts 17-14 in the third frame including two pivotal back-to-back steals off Tatum.
Butler’s fingerprints were all over the victory producing his third postseason 40 point game. He finished with 41 points (12-19), nine rebounds, five assists, four steals, three blocks and shot 17 of 18 from the charity stripe.
This postseason has witness ample flopping (cut it out Grant Williams!) and refs all too willing to reward their acting. Yet, Butler earns his trips through good old fashioned effort and IQ. There is no Jimmy flopping – he’d be too insulted to sully the game that way.
PJ Tucker also provided motivation returning after needing to exit for the locker room after tweaking his ankle.
Tyler Herro rediscovered his swagger offering 18 points off the bench. The young starting backcourt of Gabe Vincent (17) and Max Strus (11) combined to score only five points in the first half but found their rhythm finishing with 28 including six 3-pointers.
Vincent and Strus (hamstring) are listed as questionable while Tucker (ankle) is proable. Also not surprising is the decision to keep Kyle Lowry (hamstring) out especially with one win under their belts and Smart clearly less than 100 percent.
NBA Betting Trends:
- Boston is 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games.
- Miami is 14-5 ATS in their last 19 games.
- Boston is 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games on the road.
- The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Miami’s last 12 games.
- Celtics are 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 games as a road underdog.
- Heat are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a home favorite.
Free Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat NBA Prediction:
As I noted in the Game 1 preview these teams are more alike than you would think and a scan pf the box score provides evidence.
The one major difference was Miami’s pysicality, particularly defensively, and highlighted by the absence of two core veteran Celtics starter. The resulting effect was Butler, Tucker, and Adebayo’s energy fueling the victory.
With only a single day off after beating Milwaukee in Game 7, the Celtics looked tired and spent mentally.
Smart presence will help fix part of the problem but Miami is unbeaten at home in these playoffs and with Butler laser focused on winning Boston will need more than Tatum and Brown to even the series.
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