The 2022 NBA Playoffs continue Wednesday, May 25, with Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals between Boston and Miami, so we bring you the best Celtics vs. Heat betting pick along with the latest odds update on Bookmaker Sportsbook.
The series is tied at 2-2, and the Celtics, who won Game 4 at home by 20 points, open as small 1.5-point road favorites for Wednesday’s battle at FTX Arena in Miami. The Heat are listed as +100 moneyline dogs, while the totals sit at 203.5 points.
The Celtics rely on their defense to get the job done
The Boston Celtics finished the 2021-22 regular season with the best defensive rating in the NBA. They’ve had some ups and downs in the postseason, but Game 4 against the Heat saw Boston’s D at its best.
The Celtics outrebounded the Heat 60-39 and tortured their rivals at the low post. Jayson Tatum went off for 31 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, shooting 8-for-16 from the field and 14-for-16 from the charity stripe, while Al Horford posted a line of five points, 13 boards, three assists, and four blocks.
Boston overcame Marcus Smart’s absence, as the 2021-22 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award winner suffered an ankle injury in Game 3. Smart is questionable to play Wednesday, and if he remains on the sidelines, Derrick White will get his second straight start. White played very well in 41 minutes on the floor last Monday, racking up 13 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and three steals.
The Heat struggled to score in Game 4
After outlasting the Celtics 109-103 as 5.5-road dogs in Game 3, the Miami Heat suffered a heavy 102-82 defeat in Game 4 this past Monday, failing to cover a 6.5-point spread. Miami scored only 11 points in the first quarter and trailed Boston from start to finish.
The Heat shot only 33.3% from the field in Game 4. They also missed six of their 14 free-throw attempts while going 14-for-36 from beyond the 3-point line. Furthermore, the Heat accounted for a paltry 28 points in the paint.
Victor Oladipo led the way for Miami last Monday, finishing with 23 points and six assists. The entire starting lineup combined for only 18 points, and Jimmy Butler had six points, seven rebounds, and one assist. Tyler Herro sat out Game 4 due to a groin injury but should be ready to go Wednesday at home.
- 14-5 ATS in the last 19 games overall
- 10-1 ATS in the last 11 games on the road
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Pick
I was backing the Celtics since the start of the postseason and would go with Boston once more in Game 5 against Miami, although the Heat will certainly play at a much higher level than they did in Game 4. Tyler Herro will return to lead the way for Miami’s second unit, while Marcus Smart’s eventual absence could be a problem for the Celtics in this road matchup.
Boston needs to stay aggressive on the defensive end, while Jayson Tatum has to take good care of the ball and try to replicate his offensive display from Game 4. Jimmy Butler is struggling with a knee injury, so the Heat might struggle to execute on the offensive end. Bam Adebayo was a non-factor last time out after a 31-point performance in Game 3.
Pick: Take Boston Celtics -1.5 at -110
The over is 10-4 in the last 14 encounters between the Celtics and Heat and 3-1 through the first four games of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals. Monday’s clash was a low-scoring one, but only two of the previous 23 meetings between Boston and Miami have produced fewer than 205 points in the total.
Although both teams are capable of playing tough defense, I lean toward the over because of the betting trends. Miami’s offense will bounce back from a rough showing in Game 4, while the Celtics have surpassed a 100-point mark in ten straight outings.
Pick: Go over 203.5 points at -110