Heat vs. Celtics Game 2 Betting Odds
|Heat Odds||+2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Celtics Odds||-2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+120/-141 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||208.5 (-109/-112) [BET NOW]|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
The Miami Heat took Game 1 over the Boston Celtics 117-117 in an overtime thriller on Tuesday. The Heat are now listed as -162 favorites to advance (61.8 percent implied probability) despite the Celtics being favored in Game 2. Will Boston make the necessary adjustments to even this series, or will Miami take a two-game lead?
One of the interesting takeaways from Game 1 was Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra sticking with Tyler Herro off the bench instead of Duncan Robinson down the stretch of this game. Herro nearly posted a triple double (12 points/11 rebounds/nine assists) in 40 minutes while Robinson only had six points in just 17 minutes of action as he found himself in foul trouble. I don’t expect Robinson to see so few minutes moving forward for Miami, but Herro might have earned a higher spot in the rotation above the rest of the bench players because he provides reliable shooting and is an effective playmaker.
The Heat prioritized trapping Celtics point guard Kemba Walker whenever he had the ball. Kemba still managed 19 points and six assists, but it certainly forced the ball out of his hands. Miami is selling out, and this is going to create openings for other players. In Game 1, the Heat defended the rim exceptionally, but Boston shredded them from mid-range. Those are shots you live with if you’re Miami, but if Boston sees any uptick from 3-point range, this could prove to be problematic.
Miami’s defensive scheme of trapping Walker and leaning on the zone was pretty effective in Game 1. However, Boston still managed 116.5 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass. This offensive output is repeatable for the Celtics, as they averaged 113.8 points/100 in the regular season against the Heat.
Boston lost Game 1 due to its defense, allowing Miami to score 119.4 points/100 on 56.5 eFG%. The Heat are essentially running the Houston Rockets’ offense, just with an actual center. In Game 1, they took 40 percent of their shots from 3-point range but made 44.4 of them (81st percentile), per Cleaning the Glass. This is far above the percentage Boston held Miami to during the regular season (32.8 percent from three). I’m expecting a bit of regression from the Heat in Game 2, and even a dip to their postseason 3-point average of 38.6 percent swings this game in the Celtics’ favor.
Boston performed best in Game 1 when the team trusted its system and took time to get open looks and break Miami’s zone. I think the Celtics will learn from their mistakes at the end of Game 1 and continue to push the Heat even with a lead. To put this in perspective, Boston only scored seven points in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter. And it was not really anything Miami was doing that cause this. The Celtics just stopped moving, they stopped the crisp ball movement and settled for contested and difficult shots. Boston played the end of the game to not lose rather than win, and instead, did exactly the opposite.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I think Celtics head coach Brad Stevens finds an angle to attack Spoelstra’s Heat, and they even this series. Additionally, I think there will be some offensive regression from Miami and have a lean on the Heat’s team total to be under 103.
This is a great bounce-back spot for Boston. In the Stevens’ era, the Celtics are 8-4 ATS in Game 2 of a playoff series, and 5-1 ATS as favorites, per BetLabs.
At the time of this writing, there have been two smaller steam moves on Boston -2, with the line jumping from that opening mark up to -2.5.
In addition, Gordon Hayward is currently listed as doubtful for the Celtics, per FantasyLabs. But if Hayward does play it only strengthens my position on them. He’ll help with not only their rotations, but also take some ball handling pressure off Walker and Jayson Tatum.
Pick: Celtics -2.5 up to -3