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NBA · 2 weeks ago

Heat-Celtics Preview: Jimmy Butler and Miami Won’t Quit

Ben DiGiacomo

A rematch of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals is in store, as the No. 2 seeded Boston Celtics will play host to the No. 8 seeded Miami Heat tonight for Game 1 in Beantown. The C’s are expected to run away with this series as they are -550 to advance to the NBA Finals and -105 to win the NBA championship on the FanDuel Sportsbook

Heat @ Celtics Game Information 

  • Location: TD Garden | Boston, MA
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET | TV: TNT

After favorable rounds one and two draws, the Heat are in their third conference finals in the last four years, with Jimmy Butler attempting to shock the world again. They are understandably heavy underdogs, but I’d be remiss if I wrote off an Erik Spoelstra-led team with Jimmy Butler refusing to go down without a fight.

What else can we say about Jayson Tatum? With 51 points in Game 7, he was remarkable and completely lived up to the moment. Boston is the deepest team remaining in the postseason and overcame a ton of adversity, being down 3-2 to Philly. Can they roll over the confidence built?

Heat @ Celtics Game Odds on FanDuel Sportsbook

  • Spread: Heat +8 (-108) | Celtics -8 (-112)
  • Moneyline: Heat (+295) | Celtics (-370)
  • Total: Over 210.5 (-110) | Under 210.5 (-110)

I understand the Celtics being the heavy title favorites, as they should be, and even despite the incredible Game 7 performance, I’m not sold on this team. They didn’t impress against Atlanta and didn’t shine against Philly, either. They aren’t consistent and will almost certainly get out-coached in this series. Similar to how they did in Game 1 in the Semifinals, I can see them getting caught up in the hype of getting a free pass to the Finals essentially by the public. I just don’t see Miami surrendering, and eight points is a lot. I anticipate Jimmy Butler going into Boston and taking it to this team, and while the talent gap might ultimately win out, I’m on the points.

Heat @ Celtics Prop Picks on FanDuel Sportsbook

  • Jayson Tatum OVER 9.5 Rebounds (-130)
  • Jaylen Brown OVER 24.5 Points (-113)
  • Gabe Vincent OVER 3.5 Assists (-113)

Tatum has been playing incredibly close to the glass and still holds rebound value despite the two big lineups Mazzulla went with in Games 6 & 7. He recorded double-digit rebounds in five of seven games last series and in each of his previous three against Miami. There certainly is value to be had here, with Tatum to record a double-double and Boston to win at +118 looking enticing.

Jaylen Brown has taken a backseat to the deserved Tatum love affair after Game 7, and I imagine Brown wanting to remind people who he is tonight. He recorded at least 26 points in his three games against Miami this season and had his point total fall between 23 and 25 in six of the seven games last series. Proving we can rely on him to get close to this number, with that extra motivation getting us over the hump.

Gabe Vincent’s minutes have been a bit all over the place this postseason, but his assist production has been relatively consistent. He’s recorded at least four assists in eight consecutive games. When he’s out there, he’s been operating as a facilitator, especially with the second unit, but that eight-game streak in favor of this prop is enough for me to back it.


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