This article originally appeared at FanDuel.
Get set for the Eastern Conference Finals with a big Heat vs. Celtics prediction, plus the latest odds and betting insights from our friends at FanDuel.
The 2023 NBA Playoffs continue on Wednesday, May 17 with the opening game of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics.
These two teams are meeting in a conference final for the third time in the last four years. Miami is the first No. 8 seed in over two decades to reach this point after taking down the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals; Boston is now one step closer to a second straight NBA Finals appearance following a thrilling series win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
With a spot in the NBA Finals on the line in this intriguing series, let’s prepare for a Game 1 tipoff in Boston with our big Celtics vs. Heat prediction, plus the latest odds and betting insights from FanDuel.
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Game 1 Info
- Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2023
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- Venue: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
- US TV coverage: TNT
Celtics vs. Heat Odds & Spread: Game 1
All NBA betting lines, odds, and prop bets are from FanDuel Sportsbook.
- Moneyline: MIA: (+260) | BOS: (-320)
- Spread: MIA: +7.5 (-110) | BOS: -7.5 (-110)
- Total: 210 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)
The Celtics enter this contest as clear home favorites on the moneyline and spread per FanDuel Sportsbook’s odds. This Game 1 clash also features an over/under of 210 points with both sides available at -110 odds.
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MIA vs. BOS Betting Trends
- The Celtics are 39-35-4 against the spread this season.
- This year, the Heat have just one against-the-spread win in three games as an underdog of 8 points or more.
- This season, Boston’s games have hit the over 40 times out of 79 chances.
- Miami’s games this season have gone over the point total 39 times in 79 opportunities (49.4%).
- The C’s have done a better job covering the spread in home games (21-17-1) than they have in road affairs (18-18-3).
- The Heat have been better against the spread away (15-24-0) than at home (15-24-1) this year.
Celtics vs. Heat Prediction & Pick: Game 1
As mentioned above, these are two teams that have become accustomed to playing one another with a finals berth on the line. Miami took down Boston in six games during the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals, while the Celtics downed the Heat in seven games during the 2022 series. Both series were intense battles.
These teams are driven by their stars, as Jimmy Butler is averaging 31.1 points per game in these playoffs and Jayson Tatum just set the NBA record for most points in a Game 7 (51). This game will come down to defense, though, which gives the Celtics a major advantage on their home court.
Boston finished the regular season ranked third in defensive efficiency and has backed up the hype by allowing a 44.3% opponent shooting percentage in the postseason (No. 2 among teams left). The Celtics are also averaging 5.5 blocks per game, showcasing how they can defend the paint with relative ease.
Boston has the momentum coming off a glorious Game 7 win, so give me the home team to win.
HEAT vs. CELTICS FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Celtics 109, Heat 104
Game 1 Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics Best Bet
Tatum certainly deserves to be in the spotlight right now after his dominating performance. However, Jaylen Brown has quietly stayed productive throughout the entire postseason, averaging a reliable 24.6 points per game on a 54.1% shooting mark. His driving and mid-range abilities have been stellar.
Brown has tallied at least 25 points in six of Boston’s 13 playoff games, but it’s also worth noting that he has scored fewer than 23 points only three times. The 26-year-old cashed this prop bet in all three of his regular-season games against Miami this year, so bank on him to do it again here.
CELTICS vs. HEAT BEST BET: Jaylen Brown OVER 24.5 points (-108)
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