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

Payton Matthews | Updated May 15, 2023

The NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals open Wednesday with the second-seeded Boston Celtics hosting the No. 8 Miami Heat.

May 17, 2023, 8:30 PM ET
TD Garden
Pointspread +8.5 -110
Moneyline +298
Over / Under o +212.5
Pointspread -8.5 -110
Moneyline -364
Over / Under u +212.5

The C’s are 8.5-point favourites for Game 1 on the NBA odds with a total of 210.0 points. 

Heat vs. Celtics NBA Playoff Betting Odds

Boston is -625 on the series line and Miami +350. On the series handicap, Celtics at -1.5 games is -200 and Heat at +1.5 games is +148. The favoured result after Game 3 is Boston up 2-1 at +103. The over-under for total games is 5.5, with the Over a -127 favourite. That it finishes in five games is the +175 leader, however. The favoured exact result is Celtics in five at +205.

These teams also met in the 2022 East Finals and Boston won Game 7 at home 100-96 before losing to Golden State in the NBA Finals. That loss was supposed to close the championship window for the Heat, but Jimmy Butler has possibly delayed that one more year. 

Boston and Miami split four regular-season meetings, each going 1-1 on the road. The Heat are 3-2 all-time vs. the Celtics in the playoffs.

Miami Heat

The Heat, just the second No. 8 seed to reach the NBA’s conference finals, are making their 10th conference finals appearance, tying for the third-most among all four major North American sports leagues (also NHL, MLB, NFL) since making their first appearance in 1997. Coach Erik Spoelstra is making his seventh such appearance, the second-most by any head coach among the four major sports leagues since he was named head coach, behind the New England Patriots’ Bill Belichick. Spoelstra is 5-1 in the previous six. Jimmy Butler has almost single-handedly carried the Heat here, averaging 31.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists. He will continue to have to carry a big load with fellow starting guard Tyler Herro still out injured as is reserve guard Victor Oladipo. Miami has always been a good defensive team under Spoelstra and has held opponents under 50 per cent from the field in 10 of its 11 playoff games, including under 40 per cent from three-point range eight times.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics were down 3-2 in the last round against the Sixers, but once Boston won Game 6 in Philly it almost was fait accompli that they would win Game 7 back at home and they did easily, 112-88. Jayson Tatum was awful shooting in Game 6 but had 51 points in Game 7, an NBA record for a Game 7. He was also the first player in NBA history with at least 50 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a series clinching win. Tatum became the first player to record 50 points in the regular season, postseason and All-Star Game all in the same season. He’s your NBA Finals MVP currently. The Celtics have now won seven series when trailing 3-2, the most by any team in NBA history. Boston is as healthy as possible this time of year. The C’s are 1-1 in Game 1s this postseason. We think that improves to 2-0, but 8.5 points are too many points to give. 

Game 1 Prediction: Who Will Win Heat vs. Celtics?

NBA Predictions