The Miami Heat (32-18) visit Beantown Monday for a 7:30 p.m. ET game against the Boston Celtics (26-25) at the TD Garden. Below, we look at the Heat vs. Celtics odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
Miami lost at home to the Toronto Raptors 124-120 in triple overtime Saturday as 2.5-point favorites. Over the past two weeks, the Heat are 4-2 straight-up (SU) and 3-3 against the spread (ATS).
Boston beat the Pelicans 107-97 in New Orleans Saturday as 7-point road favorites. The Celtics are 3-3 SU and ATS in the last 14 days.
The Celtics (+6.5) crushed the Heat 95-78 in their first meeting this season, Nov. 4. Most of the damage was done in the second quarter where Boston outscored Miami 33-9, but the Celtics also won three of the “four factors”.
Heat at Celtics odds, spread 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 7:35 a.m. ET.
Money line: Heat +125 (bet $100 to win $125) | Celtics -155 (bet $155 to win $100)
Against the spread: Heat +3.5 (-115) | Celtics -3.5 (-107)
Over/Under (O/U): 209.5 (O: -115 | U: -107)
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Heat at Celtics key injuries
SF Jimmy Butler (ankle) questionable
C Omer Yurtseven (health and safety protocols) out
PG Kyle Lowry (personal) out
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Heat at Celtics odds, lines, picks and predictions
Celtics 107, Heat 101
PASS ON THE MONEY LINE.
Boston is the right side, but the Celtics (-155) is a little too expensive, especially against a Heat (+125) team that’s an NBA-best 11-5 SU as an underdog with a plus-8.0 margin of victory.
Against the spread
BET the CELTICS -3.5 (-107) for a variety of reasons.
First of all, Boston matches up well with Miami since the Celtics have the frontcourt to neutralize Heat big Bam Adebayo, and Boston forwards Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown is too much for Butler to handle. And that’s even if Butler plays, he is listed on Miami’s injury report as “questionable”.
But, Tatum and Brown are averaging a combined 50.3 points per game in January, and both are having their best shooting month of the season by true shooting percentage.
In fact, Tatum and Brown’s production is the major reason the Celtics are fourth in net rating this month (plus-7.8), three spots ahead of the Heat’s net rating (plus-5.9).
Plus Boston gets up for home games against quality competition. For instance, the Celtics are 5-2 SU at home versus top-10 teams in efficiency differential with a plus-6.8 adjusted net rating (ranked second) and a plus-4.4 ATS margin (ranked third), according to CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG).
Furthermore, the Celtics are better than their record indicates. In fact, Boston has a minus-4.2 win differential, which essentially means the Celtics should have four more wins (CTG). Also, Boston has a better shot quality differential than Miami according to both CTG and ShotQuality.com.
Finally, the Celtics may be able to get cheap points at the charity stripe because they are seventh in adjusted offensive free-throw rate while the Heat are 26th in adjusted defensive free-throw rate, per CTG.
BET the CELTICS -3.5 (-107) for 1 unit.
PASS with a slight “lean” towards the Under 209.5 (-107) because Boston is 25th in pace, Miami is 29th in pace, both teams are in the top-seven of defensive rating and the Celtics are 9-14 O/U as a home favorite with a minus-4.5 total margin.
However, Miami is 5-0 O/U over the past five games, the Over has cashed in six of the past eight Heat-Celtics meetings and both shoot an above-average 3-point attempt rate.
PASS ON THE TOTAL because it’s just too tough to call.
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