Boston Celtics at Miami Heat - 5/17/22 NBA Picks and Prediction
Photo by Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Miami Heat (61-32) vs Boston Celtics (59-34)
Game Info: Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at 8:30 pm (FTX Arena)
Betting Odds: Miami Heat -1.5 -- Over/Under: 206.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat duke it out in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the FTX Arena on Tuesday night.
The Boston Celtics are coming into this series with plenty of momentum after outlasting the Bucks in seven games in the Conference Semifinals. Jayson Tatum has led the way in these playoffs with averages of 28.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game, Jaylen Brown is averaging 22.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game, Marcus Smart averages 15.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game while Al Horford scored 13.0 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. The Celtics are scoring 108.5 points per game while shooting 45.4 percent from the field and 37.0 percent from the 3-point line. Against the Bucks in the previous round, Tatum came up big with 46 points to square up the series in Game 6 and he’s going to have to shoulder the scoring burden once again, but what really impressed me about the Celtics was their defense and that was on show in Game 7 where they were able to hold the Bucks to just 81 points.
Meanwhile, the Miami Heat are very well-rested coming into this series as they only took six games to get past the 76ers in the previous round. Jimmy Butler has led from the front with averages of 28.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game in these playoffs, Bam Adebayo scored 14.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game, Tyler Herro is averaging 13.8 points and 2.9 assists per game while Max Strus is averaging 12.5 points and 4.4 rebounds in the starting role. As a team, the Heat are averaging 107.1 points per game while shooting 46.4 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from the 3-point line. Against the 76ers, the Heat looked to be in a little bit of trouble after they squandered a 2-0 series lead, but they swung the pendulum back in their favor with a dominant win in Game 5 to improve to 6-0 at home in these playoffs which allowed them the opportunity to close out the series on the road.
Looking at the betting trends, the Celtics are 7-0-1 ATS in their last eight games as a road underdog, 19-6-1 ATS in their last 26 road games and 21-8-1 ATS in their last 30 games overall. The Heat are 8-1 ATS in their last nine home games, 36-15 ATS in their last 51 games playing on three or more days’ rest and 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games overall.
Head to head, the over is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings overall and the Celtics are 13-6 ATS in the last 19 meetings in Miami.
The Celtics will be looking for revenge after losing to the Heat back in the NBA Playoffs in 2020 and they will be full of confidence after outlasting the defending champs in seven games. The Heat enjoy the luxury of extra rest as they were able to take care of the 76ers in six games and they have home-court advantage in this series which is important given that the Heat are a perfect 6-0 at home in these playoffs and five of those wins were absolute blowouts. The Celtics are just about at full strength except for Marcus Smart who is listed as questionable with a sprained foot, while the Heat have listed Kyle Lowry as out for Game 1 with that nagging hamstring injury. Everything about this matchup suggests that this series will go at least six games and I think it starts with a win for the Heat here, especially if Smart isn’t able to suit up for the Celtics. The Heat have just looked incredible at home so far and I think they can keep their perfect home record alive, at least for another game.
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