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It all comes down to this. Game 7 of the 2023 NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics (3-3) and the Miami Heat (3-3) tips at the TD Garden in Beantown at 8:30 p.m. ET.
After losing the 1st three games of the ECF, Boston has won three straight to set up the do-or-die Game 7 at home. Teams up 3-0 in a best-of-seven NBA playoff series are 150-0 so history is on Miami’s side.
I’ve already done the legwork for the Heat-Celtics Game 7 handicap. But, since it’s Memorial Day and I don’t have anything else to do, I’ve found three player props to take in Game 7.
Heat SG Duncan Robinson Point Prop (8.5)
- OVER 8.5 POINTS: -105
- Under 8.5 points: -125
Robinson is averaging 9.3 points per game (PPG) in the playoffs. He is scoring 11.7 PPG in this series with a true shooting rate of 69.7% (.542/.464/1.000).
Not only can Robinson space the floor with his elite 3-point shooting but he’s also gotten several layups on cuts to the basket. Robinson has scored at least 13 points in four games of this series and played just 6:32 in Game 1.
He has the second-highest usage rate on Miami in this series behind Jimmy Butler. Robinson should get run in Game 7 considering Heat PG Gabe Vincent is playing injured and Kyle Lowry has been awful in the past couple of games.
Robinson has the second-best adjusted on/off net rating behind Heat SF Caleb Martin, according to CleaningTheGlass.com. He also has the 2nd-best offensive rating behind Heat SG Haywood Highsmith who has barely played.
The Under for Robinson’s point prop is more expensive, which is concerning because the prop market is generally sharper than the side or total. But, the Over for Robinson’s 1.5 made 3-pointers prop at DraftKings is -155.
The implied win probability of that line is 60.8%. Meaning, DraftKings considers Robinson a “lock” to hit two 3-pointers. Robinson definitely shoots it well enough to hit three 3s and should get the necessary volume of looks.
BET: Miami SG Duncan Robinson OVER 8.5 points (-105) at DraftKings
Gambling strategy: I’m splitting roughly 1 unit (u) among the three Heat-Celtics Game 7 player props. For example, 1u = $100.
Celtics PG Marcus Smart Point Prop (14.5)
- Over 14.5 points: -105
- UNDER 14.5 POINTS: -125
Smart scored 23 points in Game 5 and 21 points in Game 6. But, based on the pricing of Smart’s point prop, the sportsbooks are saying he is due for regression.
Pinnacle Sportsbook (Pinny) is begging bettors into taking the Over for Smart’s point prop. The Over for Smart’s prop at Pinnacle is +103, which is higher than several legal U.S. sportsbooks.
Pinny is the sharpest shop in town because it books the largest sports bets in the world. Well, Pinnacle is trying to steer its whale clientele toward the Over for Smart’s points.
Smart has scored 14 or fewer points in 10 of his 19 games in these playoffs including the 1st four games of this series. During the regular season, Smart scored 8 and 10 points in two of his three games vs. the Heat.
Like Boston itself, Smart’s scoring relies on him sinking 3s. Especially in this must-win scenario where most of the offense should run through teammates Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Smart’s 3-pointers made prop is set at 2.5 with heavy juice on the Under. He’s made two or fewer 3s in 11 of 19 games this postseason. Smart scored more than 14 points in two of those 11 contests.
BET: Boston PG Marcus Smart UNDER 14.5 points (-125)
Gambling strategy: Always shop around for the best number when betting player props.
Celtics SG Jaylen Brown Assist Prop (3.5)
- Over 3.5 assists: -105
- UNDER 3.5 ASSISTS: -125
The pricing of Brown’s assist prop at Pinnacle is similar to Smart’s point prop. There is heavy juice on his UNDER and the Over has a plus-money payout. This suggests the sharp side is the Under.
Brown has dished fewer than 4 assists in four of the 1st six games of the Eastern Conference Finals. Furthermore, Brown’s role on the Celtics is that of a scorer.
During the regular season, Brown had the 4th-highest assist rate of Boston’s starting 5 for Game 7. Smart is the Celtics’ PG, Jayson Tatum is a sneaky good distributor and Derrick White has a higher assist rate than Brown as well.
Brown’s weak handle also attracts a ton of defenders trying to swipe at the ball. This could open up looks for teammates and set up assist opportunities for Brown.
But, the Celtics hunt 3s, and a lot of Brown’s kickout passes could turn into “hockey assists”. Either way, this is another situation where I follow the sportsbooks’ lead and pay the tax for the right side in Brown’s assist prop.