Boston Celtics at Miami Heat Game 7 odds, picks and predictions

The No. 2 seed Boston Celtics. meet the No. 1 seed Miami Heat. Sunday in the decisive Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals at FTX Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.M. ET (ESPN). Below, we look at the Celtics. vs. Heat. odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.

The Heat. kept their season alive by upsetting the Celtics. 111-103 in Boston in Game 6 as 9-point underdogs. Miami outscored Boston in three of the four quarters and outperformed the Celtics. in three of the “four factors.”.

Miami SF Jimmy Butler had a game for the ages. He scored 47 points on 55.2% shooting (16-for-29) and a perfect 11-for-11 from the line with 9 rebounds and 8 assists.

Each team covered the spread 3 times in this series, but the Celtics. have a plus-5.9 net rating. The Over//Under (O/U) is 4-2.

Celtics. at Heat. odds and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 1:50 p.M. ET.

  • Money line: Celtics. -160 (bet $160 to win $100) | Heat. +130 (bet $100 to win $130).
  • Against the spread (ATS): Celtics. -3.5 (-108) | Heat. +3.5 (-112).
  • Over/Under (O/U): 196.5 (O: -112 | U: -108).
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    Celtics. at Heat. key injuries

    Celtics.

  • PG Marcus Smart (ankle) questionable.
  • C Robert Williams III (knee) questionable.
  • Heat.

  • PG Tyler Herro (groin) questionable.
  • PG Kyle Lowry (hamstring) questionable.
  • SG Max Strus (hamstring) questionable.
  • PF P.J. Tucker (knee) questionable.
  • PG Gabe Vincent (hamstring) questionable.
  • Celtics. at Heat. picks and predictions

    Prediction

    Heat. 101, Celtics. 96

    Money line

    LEAN HEAT (+130) . Their spread is the sharper play even though the first 6 games of this series have been decided by at least 6 points.

    Miami has the edge for Game 7 because it has the best player in the series (Butler), more depth, big-game experience and continuity and, obviously, home-court advantage.

    More importantly, the Heat. are winning the possession battle for this series, outperforming the Celtics. in both rebounding and turnover rates.

    The other two “four factors” – effective-field goal shooting and free-throw attempt rate – can be highly variant. Those areas tend to favor the home side because role players shoot better at home and home teams typically get the benefit of the whistle.

    Also, Boston struggled to win close games during the regular season, partially due to its lack of a true point guard. The Celtics. were 13-22 in the “clutch” with a minus-9.5 net rating. “Clutch” is defined by games within a 5-point margin inside of 5 minutes to play.

    Boston’s absence of a floor general leads to the Celtics. relying on contested long 2-pointers or 3-pointers. Boston is 2nd in 3-point attempt rate for the playoffs and Miami was 2nd in defensive 3-point shooting percentage this season. The Celtics. could waste possessions with poor shot selection.

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    The bottom line is that the HEAT (+130) have more value in Game 7 because they are home, will have more possessions and get easier looks.

    I’ll take whatever points I can get with Miami.

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    Against the spread

    BETHEAT +3.5 (-112) instead of or heavier than their ML based on the previous analysis.

    Miami’s spread has a contrarian angle since most of the market is betting the Celtics. -3.5 (-108), according to VegasInsider.com and Pregame.com.

    I’d rather be on the same side as the oddsmakers in these high-stakes games since the markets are tight and these teams are evenly matched. It’s typically profitable being on the same side as the House.

    HEAT +3.5 (- 112) is my favorite wager in Game 7.

    Something to consider: If you take Miami’s spread pregame and the Heat. get up double digits early, then you can take a “middle” or “hedge” position by betting the Celtics. in-game.

    Over/Under

    PASS.

    This is a sharp total and Game 7’s typically play Under the total. But both teams chuck 3-pointers, the Over has cashed in 4 of 6 games this series and the Over is 11-5 in the last 16 Celtics.-Heat. meetings.

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