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The 2-seed Boston Celtics and 8-seed Miami Heat run it back in the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals (ECF) starting Wednesday. Boston beat Miami 4-3 in the 2022 ECF and Heat leader Jimmy Butler nearly stole the series from the Celtics.
In last year’s Celtics-Heat conference finals, they tied the “four factors.” Miami won the battle of the possessions (turnover and rebounding rates) but Boston shot better from the field and got to the foul line more.
These teams split the season series 2-2 straight up and against the spread in 2022-23 with each team winning one on the road and one at home.
- Celtics 111, Heat 104 in Miami on Oct. 21, 2022.
- Celtics 134, Heat 121 in Boston on Nov. 30, 2022.
- Heat 120, Celtics 116 in Boston on Dec. 2, 2022.
- Heat 98, Celtics 95 in Miami on Jan. 24, 2023.
Granted, Celtics All-Star Jayson Tatum eviscerated the Heat during the regular season. Tatum averaged 30.8 points per game (PPG) on 61.4% true shooting (.470/.387/.846) with 10.5 rebounds.
Butler gets a bulk of the credit for Miami’s success in these playoffs, and rightfully so. But, don’t sleep on Heat big Bam Adebayo who scored 25.0 PPG vs. Boston this season on 62.4% true shooting and grabbed 9.0 rebounds.
Heat-Celtics Eastern Conference Finals 2023 Betting Odds
- Courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Boston Celtics (-525)
- Miami Heat (+400)
- Celtics -1.5 (-195)
- HEAT +1.5 (+160)
Eastern Conference Finals 2023 Schedule
ECF handicap and best bet
My favorite bet on the board is the HEAT +1.5 (+160) on the series spread. Miami has the best player in this series, the better coach, and as much, if not more, postseason experience.
Albeit, Butler is only slightly better, if at all, than Tatum who set a new Game 7 scoring record by dropping 51 on the Philadelphia 76ers’ heads in Boston’s closeout game last round.
The Celtics struggled to get past the Sixers even though they were clearly the better team because Boston coach Joe Mazzulla is learning on the job. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra has been there and done that before.
Also, the Celtics’ roster depth is overstated and the Heat should win the battle of possessions again in this series. Boston was down to just seven players in its rotation for Game 7 vs. Philadelphia.
If we are being real, how much more reliable are Celtics big Al Horford and PG Marcus Smart than Heat big Kevin Love and PG Kyle Lowry? Boston SF Jaylen Brown could be the difference-maker but he’s gone AWOL at times this postseason.
In their regular-season series, Miami had six fewer turnovers per game than Boston (18.8-12.5) and the Heat’s defense is one of the best at forcing turnovers. The Celtics’ lack of a true point guard leads to clunky offensive possessions.
This Heat-Celtics conference final is being priced as if these teams were in the same form as the regular season. But, Boston is playing tighter games in these playoffs and Miami is clearly better than its regular-season record.
BET: Heat +1.5 (+160) Eastern Conference Finals series spread at DraftKings
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2 CommentsLeave a Reply
ok, I don’t care how you bet, but be aware that the NBA was the FIRST of the “Major League” sorts to be rigged. So when you place that bet, remember, the the outcome is already decided… they question is: “how many games will they use to decide who wins?”
You can bet there will be a game 5 (#Rating) and 95% chance there will be a Game 6 (#AdRevenue) and a 85% chance there will be a game 7 (#Ratings AND #AdRevenue).
Just remember, I warned you.
What’s the over/under on how long before another NBA wanna-be rapper is caught with a gun??? BetMGM has it at 17.5 days, that seem much to long…I putting my money on the under.