The Heat are one win away from a return to the NBA Finals. They lead the Celtics 3–0 in the Eastern Conference Finals and are finally favored to close out the series Tuesday at home in Game 4.
Monday night, the Nuggets completed their sweep of the Lakers to earn their spot in the championship round and now they await their opponent. Miami last played for the title in 2020 while Boston made it to the Finals a year ago.
If the Heat indeed close out the series, they would become just the second No. 8 seed ever to play for an NBA championship with Jimmy Butler leading his teams improbable run. If the Celtics are to extend this series, they will need big performances from both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Below are three betting picks and one question for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, which tips off at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
Jayson Tatum Rises to the Challenge: Bet Tatum Over 29.5 Points
Tatums 14-point showing over the weekend was his second-lowest output of the postseason, but in the two previous games against the Heat he finished with 34 and 30, respectively. Hes gone over his scoring total in three of his last five outings, including his 51-point outburst in Game 7 against the 76ers. That was the last time Tatum was facing elimination and with his back against the wall he turned in an all-time performance. He might not be able to replicate a game on that level, but another 30-point showing seems well within reach for Bostons top scorer.
Bet on Jayson Tatum Player Props on SI Sportsbok
Miamis Offense Stays Hot: Bet Heat Over 108.5 Points
Miami has improved its scoring average from a league-worst 109.5 points per game in the regular season to a respectable 114.9 in the playoffs. And in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Heat have averaged more than 120 points per game against the Celtics. Their Game 4 team total is set at just 108.5 points, a number theyve eclipsed in each game in this series and in all but three games on their run. Given that Miami is shooting a playoff-best 38.8% from deep, betting the teams under, at home nonetheless, is a risky proposition.
Make Your Pick for the Heat and Celtics on SI Sportsbook
Jimmy Butler Shows Up in a Big Way: Bet Butler Over 35.5 Points + Rebounds
Butler is coming off a playoff-low 16 points in Game 3. He shot just 5-13 from the field across 31 minutes but the Heat hardly needed him to have a signature game given the way that Gabe Vincent, Duncan Robinson and Cody Martin stepped up. For the postseason, Butler averages 29.9 points and 5.6 boards per game, which puts him at exactly his 35.5 combined point and rebound total for the closeout game. In the decisive contest against the Knicks, Butler tallied 24 points and eight rebounds but in the Game 5 win over the Bucks he finished with 42 points and eight boards for good measure. He scored 35 points alone in Game 1 of this series and he could be in for a big outing offensively with a trip back to the Finals there for the taking.
Bet on Jimmy Butler Player Props on SI Sportsbook
Can the Heat Close Out the Celtics as Home Favorites?
Miami enters Game 4 as the favorite for the first time in the Eastern Conference Finals and just the fourth time this postseason. The Heat have consistently been installed as underdogs and delivered time and again for bettors with an 11–3 record against the spread. Even after taking the first two games of the series in Boston as an 8.5- and 10-point underdog, Miami was getting 4.5 points on its home floor Sunday and went on to win by 26. This will also be the first time in the playoffs that the Celtics arent favored and just the 10th time all season — theyve gone 8–1 against the spread so far in that position and 5–4 straight up.
NBA Playoffs Betting Record: 24–24
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