Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics Prediction, Spread and Trends to Watch - 05/23/2022

by James Q

Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics Prediction, Spread and Trends to Watch - 05/23/2022

Game Time: 8:30 PM ET, Monday, May 22nd, 2022 
Venue:   TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts  
Where to Watch:  ESPN

Opening NBA Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Celtics -6.5 O/U 2-8.5
Fanduel:  Celtics -7 O/U 208.5
BetMGM: Celtics -6.5 O/U 208.5

NBA Standings

Heat: 53-29, 1st place Eastern Conference; 2-1 in the series
Celtics: 51-31, 2nd place Eastern Conference; 1-2 in the series

An NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals Game 4.  Game 3 was a wild one!  It took everyone by surprise especially the Sportsbooks.  In Game 3 the Boston Celtics were favored by 6 points on most if not all betting sites.  Except the Heat came out hard and heavy and buried the Celtics right from the start.  The Heat was the better team on offense AND the better team on defense.  The Celtics kept missing shots and kept turning the ball over.  Celtics star SF Jayson Tatum played like hot garbage.  After building a playoff resume that had Tatum ascending to the ranks of Kevin Durant and James Harden (from 3 years ago)... Jayson simply laid an egg with an unremarkable 10 points on 3 of 14 shooting from the field… he also added a game losing 6 turnovers.  The Heat counterpart, star SF Jimmy Butler also struggled with only 8 points in only 19 minutes of play… before leaving the game with knee inflammation.  The stars were not really involved in this game.  The remaining Heat players simply beat up on the remaining Celtics players… thoroughly embarrassing the Celtics on their home court.   It was a shock… I took a hit in the bankroll.  This leaves the whole world wondering why did Vegas INCREASE the spread in favor of the Celtics?... The point spread went up to 7!  Up a point off a bad loss.  Let’s check the numbers before we lay some cash.  

The Miami Heat have won 7 of their last 10 games.  They went 6-4 ATS during that stretch.  Going 5 Over and 5 Under.  In the Game 3 win the Heat got 31 points from  Bam Adebayo with 10 rebounds and 6 assists.  Bam was embarrassed in the first two games and came out very aggressive.  It helped that the Celtics were not playing C Robert Williams III because of continued pain from his recent surgery.  PF PJ Tucker had 17 points and SG Max Strus had 16 points… but the story was not scoring… it was stifling defense and easy baskets in transition and at the foul line.  PG Kyle Lowry finally played after sitting out the first 2 games (also most of last series)... he had 11 points and 6 assists… but his real contribution was how he opened the floor in a way that PG Gabe Vincent just doesn’t.  The story of the game was forcing turnovers… sometimes just picking up a Celtics lazy or bad pass… The Heat forced 23 turnovers from the Celtics and committed only 8 themselves.  They won the game 109 - 103… and that is why Vegas has raised the point spread in favor of the Celtics… It is pretty obvious if the Celtics had taken care of the ball…. They would have blown the Heat out.  Also, SF Jimmy Butler is needed for the Heat to maintain the defensive superiority… and he may miss a game with that knee inflammation?

The Boston Celtics got embarrassed.  All the momentum came home with them from Miami and they instantly handed it back to the Heat in Game 3’s first half when they went down by 20-24 points all through the second quarter.  The Celtics had a big game from SG Jaylen Brown who landed 40 points on 14 of 20 shooting and 9 of 12 from the line. … Jaylen also mightily contributed to the loss as 7 of the 23 turnovers were credited to him. PF Al Horford landed 20 points and 9 rebounds while PG Marcus Smart added 16 points and 7 assists.  The glaring absence of Robert Williams III was felt immediately as Heat C Bam Adebaypo walked all over the Celtics' frontline.  The Celtics did not have bad shooting numbers at all… That is why the blow out game turned into a close game at the finish.  They did, however have 23 turnovers.  If they can’t fix that? they won’t win again…. If they can fix that?... They will win these remaining games easily.  So the question now is how?  The answer may be that PG Payton Pritchard and PG/SG Derrick White should play a bit more than the 13-14 minutes they got… each had 0 turnovers… but sadly neither scored worth much.  We do know that Tatum, Brown, and Smart combined for 17 turnovers and each played 37-42 minutes.  Maybe they should be better rested?... Maybe they should be more careful with the ball.  Also could someone please notice that SG Nick Stauskas consistently hits a deep 3 pointer in every game… even though he plays less than a minute from deep off the bench.  

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Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics Preview and Analysis

Recent Form

Miami is 63-33 on the season, but 55-40-1 ATS.  They have logged 54 Over and 42 Under.  They are 27-20 in road games.
Boston is 60-36 on the season, but 53-41-2 ATS.  They have notched 47 Over, 47 Under, and 2 Push.  They are 32-16 in home games.  

Offensive Analysis

Miami is 17th in scoring with 110.0 points per game, 22nd in rebounds with 43.7 per game, and 19th in AST/TO ratio with 1.8.  On defense they rank 4th while holding opponents to 105.6 ppg

Boston is 12th in scoring with 111.8 points per game, 5th in rebounds with 46.1 per game, and 11th in AST/TO ratio with 1.8.  On defense they rank FIRST while holding opponents to 104.5 ppg.

Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics Game Prediction 

Our prediction for Monday, May 2rd is…..  Celtics 111 - Heat 101

That’s right.  The bet is on the Celtics to cover and send this series back to Miami tied 2-2.  The writing is on the wall… The Celtics need to take care of the basketball and they will blow the Heat out. Plus, SF Jimmy Butler is a gladiator… an ultimate tough guy… but knee inflammation is no joke.  Playing on a bum knee can end careers prematurely.  The Heat will be cautious with him if they have any hint of trouble.  

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NBA Betting Trends

Miami is 11-3 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points.
Miami is 19-6 ATS as an underdog.
Boston is 21-9 ATS after scoring 105 points or less.
Boston is 37-20 ATS after an upset loss as a favorite the last 3 seasons.

Injury List

Heat: SF Jimmy Butler (knee) Probable ** SG Tyler Herro (quad) Quest

Celtics: C Robert Williams III (knee) Quest ** PG Marcus Smart (ankle) Quest ** SF Jayson Tatum (shoulder) Quest

Starting Lineups

Heat: PF PJ Tucker, SF Victor Oladipo, C Bam Adebayo, PG Kyle Lowry, SG Max Strus

Celtics: SF Jayson Tatum, PF Al Horford, C Daniel Theis, SG Jaylen Brown, PG Marcus Smart


Heat: Erik “I’m always here” Speolstra
Celtics: Ime “Get used to me” Udoka

James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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