Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Picks, Predictions, Odds

Regular season NBA action will resume on Friday night with a highly anticipated Eastern Conference Finals rematch between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. Coverage begins from FTX Arena in Miami at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Updated on 04/20/2024
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The Heat earned the top seed in the East with a record of 53-29 last season, however, it never really felt like there was a stand-alone top team in the conference, as the Celtics, Bucks, and Sixers all finished two games behind at 51-31, yet Miami still entered the playoffs with the third-best title odds to in the conference at +900 behind the Bucks (+500) and Nets (+700).

The Celtics, on the other hand, finished second in the East with a record of 51-31 last season, and ultimately, went on to represent the conference in the NBA Finals. However, it wasn’t exactly a smooth ride to the top, as Boston carried a miserable 18-21 record into mid-January before flipping the script with an impressive 33-10 run to close the regular season.

I’ll take the under here, as these squads averaged just 197 PPG across their trio of regular season matchups last year, with the highest scoring affair between them ringing in at 214 total points, and while the Celtics got forced into an incredibly high-scoring battle against a run-and-gun Philly squad on opening night, I still expect things to slow down a great deal in Friday’s matchup between two of the top defenses in the league.

Score Prediction: Heat 108, Celtics 104
Best Bet: Under 219 (-110)


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Date: Friday, Oct. 21, 2022
Matchup: Atlantic vs. Southeast
Venue: FTX Arena
Location: Los Angeles, Florida
Time-TV: ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET


The Celtics were very close to sounding the panic alarms approaching the midway point of last season, as Boston teetered on the edge of playoff contention with a record of 18-21 with just 43 games left to play, and in a last-ditch effort to make a run, they elected to bring back Al Horford and Daniel Theis, which ultimately worked out, as the Celtics went 33-10 the rest of the way.

It didn’t always show up on the stat sheet, but the Celtics looked like a completely different team with its defensive identity back intact, so I worry for them after losing a few key pieces of the puzzle during the offseason. That said, Malcolm Brogdon should be perfect fit for this defensive minded Boston squad, and it showed on opening night, as Brogdon tallied 16 PTS on 64% FG to go along with four assists and two steals across 23 minutes of action. And if Boston continues to get that type of help off the bench, this squad will be even tougher than they were last year.

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The Heat are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games against Boston. (Getty)


Despite posting the best record in the East last season, the Heat still entered the playoffs with the third best odds to win the conference behind the Bucks and Nets, however, none of those teams were able to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals, as the Celtics went on the road and beat Miami 100-96 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, so Boston snuck in at the last second.

However, Miami had Boston on the ropes early in the series, as the Heat jumped out to a commanding 2-1 lead before dropping three-of-four games the rest of the way, while scoring 96 PTS or less in three of those last four contests. When Miami’s offense is hot, this might be the most dangerous team in the league, but this is a squad that ranked 17th in scoring an 10th in offensive rating last season (110 PPG, 113.7 ORtg), and regardless of how dominant their defense is, it’s tough to win titles that way.


  • The Celtics are 2-4 ATS in their last six games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in four of Boston's last six games.
  • The Celtics are 2-4 SU in their last six games.
  • The Heat are 1-4 ATS in their last five games.
  • The Heat are 1-4 SU in their last five games.
  • The Heat are 10-4 SU in their last 14 home games.
  • The Heat are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games against Boston.
  • The Celtics are 4-2 ATS in their last six matchups against Miami.
  • The Celtics are 4-2 SU in their last six games against Miami.
  • The Celtics are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road games.