Boston Celtics at Miami Heat Game 1 odds, picks and predictions

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The No. 2 seed Boston Celtics face the No. 1 seed Miami Heat Tuesday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Tip-off from FTX Arena is set for 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN). Below, we look at the Celtics vs. Heat odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.

Boston punched its ticket into the conference finals by whooping the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks 109-81 at home Sunday in Game 7 of their semifinal series.

Miami defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 4-2 last round after giving up a 2-game lead once Sixers C Joel Embiid made his series debut in Philly in Game 3.

In this postseason, the Celtics are 7-3-1 against the spread (ATS) and 4-7 Over/Under (O/U), while the Heat are 7-4 ATS and 2-9 O/U.

During the regular season, Boston was 2-1 straight-up (SU) and ATS vs. Miami in their season series and the O/U was 1-2 .

The Heat took down the Celtics 4-2 in the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals in the Orlando bubble.

Celtics at Heat odds and lines

  • Money line (ML): Celtics +105 (bet $100 to win $105) | Heat -130 (bet $130 to win $100)
  • Against the spread: Celtics +1.5 (-1)7 | Heat -1.5 (-115)
  • Over/Under: 203.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

Celtics at Heat key injuries

Celtics

  • PG Marcus Smart (foot) questionable

Heat

  • PG Kyle Lowry (hamstring) out
  • SF Caleb Martin (ankle) questionable
  • SG Max Strus (hamstring) questionable
  • PF P.J. Tucker (calf) questionable
  • PG Gabe Vincent (hamstring) questionable

Celtics at Heat picks and predictions

Prediction

Heat 105, Celtics 100

Money line

BET MIAMI (-130) to win Game 1.

The Heat are the best 3-point shooting team in the NBA. They led the league in 3-point shooting percentage (37.9 %) during the regular season. Plus, they ranked 2nd in defensive 3-point percentage, holding opponents to 33.9%.

The Celtics won Games 6 and 7 of their previous series because they crushed the Bucks in 3-point differential, but the percentages favor the Heat from behind the arc in this matchup.

The Heat allowed the fewest paint points per game during the regular season. Tucker, SF Jimmy Butler and C Bam Adebayo have the length, athleticism and versatility to frustrate Celtics SF Jayson Tatum and SG Jaylen Brown.

Miami comes in well-rested, whereas Boston just finished a physical 7-game series Sunday vs. a much harder opponent and the Celtics could be fatigued.

The Heat are 19-6 SU with a plus-9.0 margin of victory with a rest edge and 4-0 SU with a plus-23.8 margin of victory with four or more rest days. The Celtics are 10-12 SU when playing with a rest disadvantage.

Miami performs well on extended rest because it allows additional time for coach Erik Spoelstra to devise a game plan and the Heat’s banged-up roster to recover from nagging injuries.

BET MIAMI (-130).