Last Updated May 19, 2022, 17:04 PM
Bet on Celtics vs. Heat Game 1 With BetMGM Code VIBONUS for $1,000 Risk-Free
US Sports Betting Industry Expert
It'll be an intense clash of familiar playoff foes on Tuesday night when the Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Coverage on ESPN will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET from FTX Arena.
This will be a rematch of the thrilling 2020 Eastern Conference Finals from the Orlando bubble, which the Heat won in six games. Since the 2009-10 season, the Heat and the Celtics have squared off four times in the postseason. The Celtics took the first series (2010), with the Heat riding a three-series winning streak (2011, 2012, 2020) heading into the fifth playoff matchup.
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Having not played since Thursday night, the Heat are favored by 1.5 points vs. the Celtics who wrapped up their second round series on Sunday. The Celtics are 5-1 vs. the spread in their last six games.
Since going down 2-1 vs. the Bucks, Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum emphatically responded with averages of 33.3 points per game, 8.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and a 47.5 percent field goal percentage. Meanwhile, Heat superstar Jimmy Butler is once again confirming his status as an upper echelon playoff performer. The six-time All-Star is registering 28.7 points per game, 7.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.1 steals, and a 52.5 percent field goal percentage this postseason.
Despite the total going OVER in the seven of the last ten contests between the rivals, it appears reasonable to bet the UNDER for the total of 203.5 points for Game 1. The Heat (104.6) and the Celtics (105.2) have the best postseason defensive ratings of the four remaining teams in the NBA Playoffs. The total has been UNDER in nine of the last 11 Heat games and five of the last seven Celtics games.
Check out Tuesday's DailyInsider predictions for Game 1 of Boston v. Miami:
The Heat's defense is anchored by versatile center Bam Adebayo, who finished fourth in Defensive Player of the Year voting. The All-Star, capable of defending all five positions, has been selected to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in back-to-back seasons. Adebayo, who averaged 10.1 rebounds and a career-high 1.4 steals per game for a Heat squad that finished fourth in regular season defensive rating (108.4), missed 26 games this season due to injury.
The Celtics' defense is led by Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart. The 28-year-old Smart is the first guard to capture the award since Hall of Fame point guard Gary Payton in 1995-96. As of May 17, Smart is listed as questionable to play in Game 1 due to a mid-foot sprain sustained on Sunday. The injury occurred when Smart fell over Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the MRI came back clean and Smart will test the foot on Tuesday in the hopes of playing.
The eight-year veteran entered the season with consecutive NBA All-Defensive First Team honors. With his stingy perimeter defense, Smart played a pivotal role in the Celtics leading the league in defensive rating (106.2), points per game (104.5), lowest field goal percentage (43.4) and lowest three-point percentage (33.9).
Written by Rolando Rosa, our US sports betting industry expert.