Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:48 AM

Celtics vs. Bucks Predictions, Odds

  • Jan. 6, 2021
  • By Michael Crosson

Primetime NBA action is back on ESPN with an Eastern Conference Finals rematch between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.

As always, VI has you covered with another slate of Best Bets and Game Previews to help handicap all the action.

Betting Resources

Betting Odds - Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat

Line Movements

Subject to Change

  • Spread: Miami -2.5
  • Money-Line: Miami -140 Boston +120
  • Total: 218

Despite a disappointing start to the season following a trip to last year’s NBA Finals, the Heat (3-3 SU) come into Tuesday night’s game as a 2.5-point favorite against the Celtics (5-3 SU).

This situation of catching points will mark the fourth contest Boston has been listed as an ‘underdog’ already this season.

Head coach Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics have gone 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS on the road this season. (AP)

Celtics vs. Heat Current Form-Last Game

Coming off losses in three out of their first five games to start the year, the Heat finally caught a break this past Monday with an easy matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which resulted in the 28-point beatdown that the majority of bettors anticipated.


The Celtics were listed as 6-point underdogs heading into their most recent matchup with the Toronto Raptors, but Boston took care of business rather easily, cruising to their third ‘upset’ ATS with a 12-point victory behind Jayson Tatum’s third 40-point performance as a Celtic (57.9% FG, 5-8 3PT).

Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Head-to-Head

Boston and Miami met up during last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, which resulted in the Heat making their first Finals’ appearance since the departure of LeBron James.

The Celtics chances of advancement faded away rather quickly though as Jimmy Butler received an unusual amount of help from his supporting cast during the first two games of this series, led by Goran Dragic who averaged 27 points, 5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists while at least two other players managed to outscore Butler in each contest.

Although the Celtics fell to the Heat in just six games, Jaylen Brown still managed to string together his best NBA playoff performance to date in this series, averaging 23.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game on 55.6% from the field and 50% from 3-point territory.

Tatum was also great in this series, averaging 26.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game for the length of the six matchups, but he lacked the efficiency that he possessed during last year’s regular season, shooting well below his typical shooting clips (41.3% FG, 30.8% 3FG).

All Games Played at NBA Bubble in Orlando, Florida

2020 Eastern Conference Finals (Heat win series 4-2)
Game Matchup Score Favorite-Underdog Over-Under
1 Miami (+2, ML +110) at Boston 117-114 (OT) Underdog Over (209)
2 Miami (+3) at Boston 106-101 Underdog Under (208)
3 Boston (-3.5) at Miami 117-106 Favorite Over (208.5)
4 Boston at Miami (3.5, ML +145) 112-109 Underdog Over (212)
5 Miami at Boston (-3.5) 121-108 Favorite Over (213.5)
6 Boston at Miami (+3, ML +130) 125-113 Underdog Over (215.5)

(SU-Straight Up, ATS - Against the Spread, OU - Over-Under)

Boston Celtics Betting Outlook

Inside the Stats (2020-2021)

  • Overall: 5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS, 5-3 O/U

This is undoubtedly a game that every player on last year’s Celtics team has had circled on their calendar since the day the NBA schedule came out, so I expect them to give Miami everything they can handle in this contest and for Marcus Smart to suit up unless his injury is much more worrisome than Boston is letting on.

Many people believed that the Celtics were the clear-cut favorite to win the East once the Bucks got knocked out of last year’s playoffs, but those people learned quickly that Boston had absolutely nobody capable of matching up with Bam Adebayo.

Miami’s big man led his team in all major statistical categories in this series (except blocks), averaging 21.8 points, 11 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.0 blocks.

The Celtics added forward Tristan Thompson to the mix this past off-season though, to help out the shorter Daniel Theis guard dominant centers such as Adebayo. So, we will see how that plays out in the first matchup between these teams since that acquisition.

Miami Heat Betting Outlook

Inside the Stats (2020-2021)

  • Overall: 3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS, 2-4 O/U

Butler has sat out nearly two and a half games for the Heat this season with ankle injury, but Miami has still managed to grind out three wins in their first six games against a tough schedule to be playing without their superstar (New Orleans, Milwaukee, Milwaukee).

Butler returned from injury on New Year’s Day against the Mavericks and did not connect on a single field goal attempt across 25 minutes in the Miami loss (0-6 FGA).

In his most recent contest though, he was able to get back on track, scoring 18 points on 50% shooting from the field (6-12), although he is still yet to knock down a single 3-point attempt since returning to the lineup.

Key Injuries

Boston Celtics

  • PG Jeff Teague: Ankle - Questionable
  • PG Marcus Smart: Thumb - Questionable
  • PG Kemba Walker: Knee - Out

Miami Heat

  • SF Maurice Harkless: Arm - Questionable

Player Prop Best Bet

Tyler Herro – Under 15.5 total points (-110)

Tyler Herro exploded onto the scene at the tail-end of his rookie season, especially against Boston during last year’s Eastern Conference Finals as the Kentucky-product went off for 22 and 37 points in consecutive games on a combined 22 of 39 from 3-point territory over that stretch.

He was also great in the two games Butler did not participate in this season, going for 23 and 21 points in those two contests.

Herro has not managed to eclipse 15 points in a game Butler has started in this season though, and I expect him to stay under that total again on Wednesday night with Jimmy undoubtedly set to play an expanded role in a primetime grudge match against the Celtics.

Celtics vs. Heat Prediction

These Celtics and Heat rosters are pretty evenly matched when you break them down from top to bottom and we are destined to see another great heavyweight battle between contenders in the Eastern Conference on Wednesday night.

I really believe the Celtics will treat this as one of the biggest games of their regular season, being the first time they are matching up with the team that eliminated them from last year’s playoffs.

I’m going to take the points with the Celtics here as I believe Boston finds a way to take care of business in this game, or at least takes Miami down to the wire.

Score Prediction: Celtics 112 Heat 108
Best Bet: Celtics +2.5

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