The top-rated sportsbooks and betting sites have released their NBA odds for tonight’s playoffs action. There is one game scheduled and I think it is worth investing in heavily: Boston vs. Miami.
For reasons that I will explain, you should play both spread and total for this playoffs NBA game.
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat
Thursday, May 19, 2022 – 08:30 PM EDT at FTX Arena
Boston Celtics Playoffs Recap
Know for your best bets that Boston supporters should not feel worried after their team dropped Game 1 in Miami. The main reason not to worry is that the Celtics have been in this position before. When they played the Nets, a team that they swept, they nearly lost Game 1.
In the following series, against Milwaukee, they lost the opener by 12 before bouncing back with a 23-point victory. The Celtics have not only bounced back after every Game 1 hiccup (or near-hiccup), they have yet to lose consecutive games in these playoffs.
In addition to bouncing back after dropping Game 1 against the Bucks, Boston won after losing Games 3 and 5 in that same series.
Whether they've played at home or on the road, they've proven to be a strong bounce-back team that is worth relying on in adverse situations such as in the game following a loss.
What Happened in Game 1 of this Series?
Boston won three quarters in Game 1: they outscored Miami by three in the first quarter, by five in the second, and by six in the fourth.
The Celtics lost because Miami obliterated them in the third quarter. Especially in that third quarter, when they were just coming out of the locker room, the Celtics were most strongly affected by their unfavorable playing conditions.
They had a short turnaround - with one full day of rest - after their seven-game series against Milwaukee. Statistically speaking, it is rare for teams to win Game 1 of a new series after entering and then winning Game 7 of the previous series.
Lack of Energy to Blame Celtics Loss
Given this statistically created historical fact, it is unreasonable to dislike Boston tonight because it lost Game 1. The Celtics lost Game 1 because, especially when they were coming out of the locker room at halftime, they played like a tired team, a team in desperate need of concentration and physical strength or energy.
When there is a lack of energy in one's legs, then one will be more active with one's arms in order to compensate for the relative inability to move one's legs. Hence, the Celtics committed 23 fouls despite normally being a team that is good about not fouling.
Moreover, the Celtics committed 16 turnovers. A lot of these turnovers were the consequence of lapses in concentration where players were missing open targets to force the ball in windows that were not really available.
Celtics vs. Heat Lineup Analysis
Boston had to play without Marcus Smart. Robert Williams III could only contribute 28 minutes before leaving due to leg cramps.
As a result, of these absences, lower-quality guys had to play more minutes. I really like Payton Pritchard, but he's not a guy who should be playing 30 minutes in a game.
Likewise, Derrick White, who scored three points, started and mustered three points. For tonight's game, Marcus Smart should return. As of this morning, he is listed as 'probable.'
A two-time NBA All-Defensive first-teamer, Smart's return injects greater quality into a Celtics' defense that allowed an unexpectedly high-scoring output in Game 1 against the Heat.
Smart to Improve Celtics' Defense
Having Smart back in the lineup means that the Celtics' defense has fewer vulnerable targets for the Heat to focus on attacking. Smart is someone who can guard Miami's top scorer, Jimmy Butler, and he can switch onto Bam Adebayo.
Most obviously, he can handle Gabe Vincent, which is important because Miami's half-court offense has been +13 in scoring with Vincent on the court versus when he is off the court.
On offense, he'll certainly have a more positive impact than White. Having Williams III in for longer periods of time is also crucial for the defense because it has an effective weapon against Adebayo's offense.
It is a fact that opposing players struggle to be remote as efficient scoring-wise when Williams III guards them. The biggest and most important increase in playing quality will be evident in the Celtics' top stars.
Most especially, there is no way that Jayson Tatum could conceivably repeat the third-quarter performance that he suffered in Game 1.
Celtics Loss Takeaways
While Boston endured the seemingly inevitable Game 1 loss following its Game 7 triumph over Milwaukee, they learned important lessons:
- The Celtics learned that drop coverage does not work. They hardly employed this sort of ball screen coverage in the second half. Boston does not need to try to behave too differently in Game 2.
- On offense, the Celtics did a great job of generating open three-point attempts, but they simply did not take advantage. They attempted three more wide-open three-point attempts than Miami did, but they converted only two of them.
- Despite their 14-point third quarter, they scored more points than the Heat allowed on average.
Celtics vs. Heat Parlay Prediction
Game 1's 118-107 result that transpired despite underachievement on open and wide-open three-point attempts makes it seem like the NBA odds are way off with their total.
The biggest change in Game 2 will be Boston's improvement on both ends of the floor. For the above reasons, invest in Boston and the ‘over’ for your NBA picks.
Celtics vs. Heat Parlay Picks
- Boston Celtics +3.5 (-110)
- Over 208 (-110)
Be sure to use our trusty BMR's parlay calculator for your parlay betting needs.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.