It’s been a long, hard season, but now we’re left with two of the best teams in the East vying for a place in the finals. Who will get the advantage in Game 1? Find out in our NBA betting picks and predictions for Celtics vs Heat.
The Miami Heat have the home ground advantage in the Eastern Conference Finals and are the points favorites hosting the Boston Celtics in the first game of the series Tuesday night. However… Boston at -180 to win the series with Miami back at +150.
The big impact on those contrasting markets is the fact the Celtics are out of seven tough games with the Milwaukee Bucks, just one day between Sunday’s win at Game 7 and this opening in South Beach.
Somewhere along the line, odds-makers are expecting Boston to steal a game down the road. Will it be Game 1? Here are our free NBA betting picks and predictions for the Celtics at the Heat on May 17.
Celtics vs Heat 1 odds
This probability tool represents The best possibilities available Each betting market has a regulated sports book.
After the Celtics’ impressive victory over Milwaukee in Game 7 of their Conference Series in the semi-finals on Sunday, the Boston bookmakers opened between +1.5 and +2.5 for Game 1 in Miami. The market settled at +2 with some shops floating in the -1.5 heat as of Monday afternoon. The total reached 206.5 points and quickly shrank to 204 points.
Use the live odds tool above to track any future streak moves live until you receive a tip and be sure to check the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.
Celtics vs Heat Game 1 predictions
The predictions were made on 5/16/2022 at 12:00 PM ET.
Click on each prediction to go to the full analysis.
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Celtics vs Heat 1 game info
• location: FTX Arena, Miami, Florida
• DateTuesday 17 May 2022
• warning: 8:30 p.m. Eastern time
• TV: ESPN
The odds of the Celtics series vs the Heat
the heat: +150
Celtics vs Heat 1 game preview for betting
Celtics: Sam Houser F (Doubtful).
the heat: Kyle Lowry G (Doubtful).
Find the latest injury reports in the NBA.
Betting direction to know
The Heat 8-1 ATS has achieved in its last nine home matches. Discover more NBA betting trends for the Celtics vs the Heat.
Celtics vs Heat Game 1 picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based on our analysis of streak and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite across all markets.
What sold as a 7-game showdown ever provided very little pop, as Boston thrashed Milwaukee 109-81 in the decider on Sunday. But while that finale was a bit of a picnic, the tax that long and physical streak of those fights with the Bucks would carry over to the first game finals of the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics have only one day to rest, prepare and fly to Miami to face the Heat, who have been waiting since Thursday night to see who their last opponent in the conference will be. Meanwhile, head coach Eric Spoelstra would have done well in both the Celtics and Bucks, giving the Heat a head start in game planning and tweaks.
One notable aspect that Miami brings to the table that Milwaukee does not is depth. The Heat averages 34.7 points per game on the bench, with instant-impact players like Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo maintaining Miami’s offensive performance even when players occupy a bench.
That depth overwhelmed the Sixers in the final round and could do the same for Boston’s weary roster Wednesday, with the Celtics pulling an average of just 12 minutes per game from the pines for just under 22 points per game in the conference semi-finals.
With that extra battery life, the Heat can match the defensive density of the Celtics and unleash a lineup very similar in size and function. Miami — like Boston — doesn’t run that big under the basket with versatile center Pam Adebayo capable of landing or playing around the paint, as well as defending pretty much any position.
While I don’t put much weight in the previous games, the most recent game between these franchises saw the Miami checkers the Celtics only 41% and hit 17 turns in a 106-98 victory in the park on March 30th. The Heat’s stifling defense, heavy legs and exhaustion could result in similar stats from the Celtics on Wednesday.
Bookmakers might expect Boston to steal one down the road in this series, but it won’t be Game 1.
predictionHeat: -1.5 (-110 at bet365)
Covers NBA betting analysis
Over / Under Analysis
Boston’s defense benefited from a critical blunder for the Bucks in the conference semi-finals. With Middleton out and George Hill playing painfully, Milwaukee really lacked scoring depth – especially from outside the arc.
The Bucks shot the ice at 28% from a distance, allowing the Celtics to pack paint to protect from Giannis Antetokounmpo without worrying about Milwaukee shooters. Giannis still shot 45.5% for the series but the rest of the team was a bleak 39% off the floor.
The Heat is a completely different animal. Miami is the highest-grossing 3-point shooter in the NBA, with an overall success rate of 37.3% downtown in the season. He got caught up in a weird home/away split on a three-point shootout against Philadelphia, but made it to the end of that streak, making 13 of 33 from deep in Game 6.
In the regular season, Miami and Boston both ranked among the most systematic paces in the NBA (24 and 28) and their three head-to-head encounters produced a low pace rating of 96.33, with two of those three games remaining below the total. .
However, those total numbers ranged from 213.5 to 209.5 points – still high considering that Game 1 Over/Under drops to 204 points. That current number would make it the shortest total of the full NBA playoffs if it were closed there.
Miami’s shooting and scoring depth will be enough to challenge this short total, and even more so when you add the intertwined legs of the Celtics’ invading defense.
prediction: more than 204 (-110 in bet365)
As shy about Boston support given the quick turnaround and lean line-up from a very physical streak with the Milwaukee, we respect the Celtics’ two-way play and Jason Tatum’s ability to put this team on his back.
Sometimes sitting slack – even for a few days – can be a disadvantage if your opponent is already in the do-or-die mentality, which Boston is clearly in.
That spread has already fallen by as much as a point in some stores, which means the books are gearing up for a daring effort from Boston. I don’t see it as a blast, like the last post-season play, so we’ll keep it simple and bring the hit home on the discounted cash line.
pick or pick: Thermal money line (-125 at bet365)
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