Game 2 – Heat vs. Celtics Picks, Predictions, Odds

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The NBA Playoffs resume on Friday night with Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. Coverage begins from TD Garden in Boston at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

The Heat are 8-2 ATS in their last ten games. (Getty)


The Celtics were originally tagged as massive -550 favorites to win this series, and rightfully so. Boston is the only squad in the entire league that ranks Top 3 in both offensive and defensive rating, and they were entering a matchup against a Miami’ team that ranked 25th in offense during the regular season.

However, that number has quickly plummeted to -220 in the aftermath of Wednesday’s result, as the Celtics went to halftime of Game 1 leading Miami by a score of 66-57, but the Heat managed to rally back and escape with a come from behind victory by scoring 66 points on 55% from the field and 56% from downtown in the second half, while Boston scored just 50 points on 49% from the field and 31% from long-range in the final two stanzas..

In Wednesday’s postgame presser, Joe Mazzulla alluded to the fact that there’s no reason for Boston to sound the panic alarms quite yet. The Celtics outscored Miami in three-of-four quarters during their Game 1 loss, and then just happened to get blown out by 21 points in the third quarter. So, the fix seems rather simple. All they need to do is string together four quarters of solid basketball to get back over the hump in Game 2.

Unfortunately, though, that’s much easier said than done for the Celtics. It’s nearly impossible to predict which version of this Boston’ team is going to show up on any given night, or any given quarter, for that matter, and Jayson Tatum is no exception to that claim. 

In Game 7 against the Sixers, Tatum erupted for 51 points on 60% from the floor, but let’s not forget, he also pulled a pair of disappearing acts in that series, and in theory, if Tatum never snapped out of his 1-for-14 shooting slump and drill four-of-five three-point attempts in the closing minutes of Game 6, we would be having a much different discussion about the current state of this Boston’ squad.

Then, flip the calendar forward a few days to Game 1 of the ECF, and Tatum continued his dominance early, as he tallied 24 points on 9-of-17 shooting in the first three quarters of Wednesday’s contest, but in the final stanza, Tatum vanished yet again, as he scored just six points on zero made field goal attempts and turned the ball over three times in the fourth quarter of the loss.

On paper, Boston appears to have a clear cut edge in this series, but make no mistake about it, the fact that Miami has also reached this point certainly isn’t a fluke.

The numbers don’t always add up in the stat column, but the Heat fight tooth-and-nail in every single contest, and they fear absolutely nobody. They play great defense, they move the ball well on offense, Erik Spoelstra may very well be the best coach in the league, and Jimmy Butler is capable of taking over a game on any given night.

While on the other side of that same coin, the Celtics have clearly lacked mental toughness at times during these playoffs. They’ve posted a rather mediocre record of 8-6 since the start of the postseason, which includes a record of 0-3 in matchups decided by four points or less, and the inexperience of rookie head coach Joe Mazzulla quickly became a factor in the previous round against Philly, but ultimately, their talent prevailed.

For Celtics’ bettors, the easiest thing to do would be to sweep their latest loss under the rug and assume that Miami is due for a healthy amount of regression and Boston is due for significant improvement in Game 2. 

There’s no denying the fact that Boston is one of the most dangerous teams in basketball when they bring their A-Game, but the fact of the matter is, the Celtics have consistently shot themselves in the foot with unforced errors, and that’s exactly what they suffered from to open this series with 15 turnovers in Game 1. 

It almost seems like Boston is destined to bounce back with a win in Game 2, but all things considered, the Celtics simply cannot be trusted laying such a large number against a razor-sharp Heat' squad that appears to be in a much better headspace than the C's at the moment. Take the points with Miami in Game 2.

Score Prediction: Celtics 106, Heat 103
Best Bet: Heat +9 (-110)

MIA @ BOS Odds

Best Odds
Miami Heat 537 Heat
+9.5 -110 +9.5 -108 +9.5 -105 +10 -110 +10 -110 +10 -110 +10 -109 +8.5 +110 +10 -110 +10 -109 +10 -110  
Miami Heat 537 Heat
o224.5 -110 o215 -110 o214.5 -115 o216 -110 o214.5 -110 o215 -110 o215 -110 o215.5 -110 o214.5 -120 o215 -110 o215 -110  
Miami Heat 537 Heat
+350 +370 +350 +360 +350 +370 +370 +350 +380 +370 +360  
Miami Heat 537 Heat
+9.5 -110 +9.5 -108 +9.5 -105 +10 -110 +10 -110 +10 -110 +10 -109 +8.5 +110 +10 -110 +10 -109 +10 -110  
-9.5 -110 -9.5 -112 -9.5 -115 -10 -110 -10 -110 -10 -110 -10 -112 -8.5 -133 -10 -110 -10 -112 -10 -110  
o224.5 -110 o215 -110 o214.5 -115 o216 -110 o214.5 -110 o215 -110 o215 -110 o215.5 -110 o214.5 -120 o215 -110 o215 -110  
u224.5 -110 u215 -110 u214.5 -105 u216 -110 u214.5 -110 u215 -110 u215 -110 u215.5 -110 u214.5 -120 u215 -110 u215 -110  
+350 +370 +350 +360 +350 +370 +370 +350 +380 +370 +360  


Date: Friday, May 19, 2023
Venue: TD Garden
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
TV-Time: TNT, 8:30 p.m. ET
Expert Picks

NBA Finals Betting Odds


Miami Heat
SU: 54-42
ATS: 41-53
O/U: 50-44
PPG: 109.5
OPPG: 109.8

Boston Celtics
SU: 65-31
ATS: 53-42-1
O/U: 52-43-1
PPG: 117.9
OPPG: 111.4

Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS), Over-Under (O/U)
Points Per Game (PPG), Opponents Points Per Game (OPPG)

The total has gone OVER in nine of Miami's last ten road games. (Getty)


  • The Heat are 8-2 ATS in their last ten games.
  • The total has gone OVER in nine of Miami's last 12 games.
  • The Celtics are 12-6 ATS in their last 18 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in nine of Boston's last 12 games.
  • The Celtics are 13-7 SU in their last 20 games.
  • The Celtics are 11-4 SU in their last 15 home games.
  • The Heat are 8-2 SU in their last nine games.
  • The total has gone OVER in nine of Miami's last ten road games.
  • The total has gone OVER in five of Miami's last six road games against Boston.