Heat vs Celtics Game 1 Odds, Preview & Betting Pick

May 17- 10 min read
heat vs celtics game 1 odds

Heat vs Celtics Game 1 Odds, Preview & Betting Pick

It took 33 games and six playoff series but the Eastern Conference is going to be decided between the #1 seed Miami Heat and #2 seed Boston Celtics. Not only were these the two best teams during the regular season but they’ve proven that in this 2022 NBA season that when push comes to shove they’re the class of the conference. The Heat vs Celtics game 1 odds indicate this series could go either way though.

These are two of the best teams in defensive efficiency this season so if you came looking for fast paced, high powered offense you came to the wrong place. We’ve got two players that were up for defensive player of the year and offenses that are outside of the top-24 in pace. We’ll find out how these two teams separate themselves and where to find betting value a little later. Let’s take a look at the game 1 odds.

Heat vs Celtics Game 1 Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Miami Heat -129 -2 (-110) O 203.5 (-113)
Boston Celtics 107 2 (-110) U 203.5 (-108)

Odds are courtesy of BetRivers

The Heat may be the betting favorite for game 1 but New York sports betting markets actually make the Celtics the favorite in the full series markets. Miami isn’t short of talent though, with Jimmy Butler leading the way offensively, his point total sits at 24.5 in the Celtics vs Heat game 1 odds.

Boston closed out their conference semi-final series in a big way, taking down the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in game 7 by a score of 109-81. They’re at their best when they’re getting secondary scoring, but Jayson Tatum is the favorite to be the Eastern Conference Finals MVP at -112 odds at BetRivers Ontario.

heat vs celtics game 1 odds

Miami the Favorite in Heat vs Celtics Game 1 Odds

Boston took the regular season series 2-1, with Miami claiming their most recent matchup. In two of the three games the teams were at full strength, with the other being a Celtics win without the Heat having Jimmy Butler.

There are two discrepancies between these two teams that were on display in their matchup during the regular season. The first is rebounding, where the Celtics rank 4th and the Heat rank 18th. The other is 3-pt shooting, Miami is the most efficient team in the NBA from 3-pt range at 37.9%. Meanwhile the Celtics shoot the three ball at the 8th highest rate in the league but are 14th in efficiency behind the arc.

The Celtics were the best three point defense in the NBA this season. During the regular season matchups they forced Miami to take more 3-pt attempts then they typically do and they limited them to 32.8% efficiency from deep.

The good news for Miami is that their 3-pt efficiency won’t be a deal breaker, they still deploy a balanced offense. Robert Williams is back for Boston but they should be able to compete at the rim at a better level then they did in the regular season. The Celtics opponents have been able to score in he paint this postseason, I expect to see more volume from there by the Heat.

Can Boston Continue to Score From 3?

The Celtics have been taking the second most three point shot attempts per game, behind the Dallas Mavericks, this postseason. Milwaukee was below league average in 3-pt defense this season, while the Heat are tied with Boston as the best team defending behind the arc. With Bam Adebayo defending inside the paint, they force opponents to take low quality shots outside the arc.

With Jayson Tatum’s playmaking ability, there are going to be opportunities for these secondary pieces to contribute. Like Marcus Smart, Grant Williams, Derrick White. Just as much as Miami gets excellent play from their 6th man of the year, Tyler Herro, Boston needs efficient perimeter shooting from role players in order to advance.

Miami is second in the NBA, only behind the Milwaukee Bucks, in opponent field goal attempts inside the paint. This makes this series that much more difficult for Boston considering Miami’s defensive prowess from three point range as well.

Celtics vs Heat Game 1 Pick

This series has plenty of layers to it, but what sticks out to me is the challenge that Miami presents to Boston. Defensively, they are everything Milwaukee was and arguably more. With this in mind, I’m looking at Jayson Tatum’s point total prop, which is at 27.5 at BetRivers in the Celtics vs Heat game 1 odds.

During the three games in the regular season, Tatum averaged 17.7 points per game. His low scoring total against Miami this season comes down to a few things. The obvious one being the slow pace these teams like to play at, with very few quick, transition points up for grabs. The second is how well Miami limits there opponents from scoring at the rim and in the paint, which is where more than 50% of Tatum’s made field goals come from.

With Robert Williams expected to be back in the rotation, this could eat into Tatum’s scoring volume inside as well, so if he isn’t uber efficient from 3-pt range against the best 3-pt defense in the NBA then clearing this total is going to be a problem.

Pick: Jayson Tatum UNDER 27.5 points (-106 at BetRivers)

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