Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Game 1 Prediction, NBA Odds

Jordan Ramsay | Updated May 16, 2022

There's a spot in the NBA Finals on the line as the Miami Heat open the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.

Boston
51-31
AT
May 17, 2022, 8:30 PM ET
American Airlines Arena
Miami
53-29
Pointspread +4.5 -106
Moneyline +171
Over / Under o +203

46%

Betting Action

54%

Pointspread -4.5 -113
Moneyline -205
Over / Under u +203

46%

Betting Action

54%

The East has been whittled down to two teams.  The Miami Heat are set to host the Boston Celtics for Game 1 of the Eastern conference Finals on Tuesday.  Miami, the top seed in the East, knocked off Atlanta in five games and Philadelphia in six games to reach the conference finals.  Boston, the No. 2 seed in the East, swept Brooklyn in the first-round and went the distance to Game 7 against Milwaukee in the second-round.

The Heat opened as 1.5-point favourites to win Game 1 on the NBA odds, while the total sits at 204.5.

Celtics vs. Heat NBA Playoffs Betting Odds

This is a rematch of the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals played in the Orlando bubble.  Miami took that series in six games before losing to LeBron James and the L.A. Lakers in the NBA Finals.

The Celtics took two of three meetings between the teams in the regular season, winning once at home and once on the road.  The Heat won the most recent head-to-head, downing Boston 106-98 at TD Garden on March 30.  Two of the three games went Under.

Boston has been on an absolute heater when it comes to covering the spread.  They are 9-0 against the spread in their last nine road games and 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall.  The total went Under in five of their seven second-round games.  Despite being the lower seed, the Celtics are actually -167 favourites to win the series.

Miami has been dangerous at home and open Game 1 on a nine-game home winning streak.  They’re 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games overall, including 7-4 ATS in the playoffs.  The total has gone Under in nine of the Heat’s 11 playoff games.  They open the conference finals as +135 series underdogs.

The favoured exact series result is for Boston to win in six games at +280.  The biggest long shot is a Miami sweep at+1550.

Boston Celtics

This will be Boston’s fourth trip to the conference finals in the last six years, but they’re still trying to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.  Strong defensive play and clutch performances from stars like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart have been crucial for the Celtics through the first two rounds of the playoffs.  Boston has a strong group of perimeter defenders, so shutting down Jimmy Butler will be key.

The Celtics absolutely destroyed Milwaukee to clinch the second-round series, setting a Game 7 record with 22 made three-pointers.  They made 53 more three-pointers than the Bucks in the series, another NBA record.  Boston’s 110 total three-pointers was tied for third-most in any playoff series.  Tatum is averaging 28.3 points through 11 playoff games, fifth-best among all postseason players.

Smart, the Defensive Player of the Year, is questionable for Game 1 due to a foot injury suffered in Game 7 against Milwaukee.  Robert Williams III, who missed the last four games with left knee soreness, has been cleared to return with no restrictions on Tuesday.

Miami Heat

This will be Miami’s ninth appearance in the conference finals in the franchise’s 34-year history.  They’re 6-2 in their previous eight trips.  With the availability of former Toronto Raptor Kyle Lowry in question, Butler will be forced to shoulder even more of the load in this series.  The 32-year-old is averaging 29.7 ppg with improved shooting both inside and outside the paint.  Tyler Herro could be a major X-factor.  The Sixth Man of the Year was arguably the Heat’s best player in the regular season, but he’s been inconsistent in the playoffs.  Herro is shooting just 27.3 per cent from beyond the arc and he’s struggled to adjust to more aggressive defences.

Miami had the best home record in the NBA during the regular season at 29-12 and they’re 6-0 at home in the playoffs.  That makes home-court advantage huge for the Heat as they’ve won those six playoff games by an average of 17 points.  As far as injuries go, the biggest concern remains around Lowry.  The veteran point guard has missed significant time with a lingering hamstring injury.  Lowry missed the final two games of the Hawks series and he only made two appearances in the 76ers series.  He is currently listed as doubtful for Game 1.

NBA Prediction: Who Will Win Celtics vs. Heat?

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