The Celtics staved off elimination Tuesday night but still trail the Heat 3–1 as the Eastern Conference Finals shifts back to Boston.
Miami won both games at TD Garden last week to take a commanding 2–0 lead and is in position to close the series out in Game 5. The Nuggets already punched their ticket to their first-ever NBA Finals with their win over the Lakers on Monday and now the title favorites are awaiting their opponent.
The Celtics are once again sizable favorites against the Heat, a position that has not worked out well so far in this matchup. As favorites of 8.5, 10 and 4.5 points, Boston lost to Miami outright three times and won Game 4 as a 1.5-point underdog. The Cs are eight-point favorites Thursday night.
Below youll find a trio of betting picks and one important question for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, which gets underway at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
Make Your Pick for the Heat and Celtics on SI Sportsbook
Jimmy Butler Stays Active on the Glass: Bet Butler Over 7.5 Rebounds
Butlers rebounding average in this series is up to 7.5, higher than it was against the Knicks (7.2) or Bucks (6). After he grabbed just five boards in Game 1, he finished with eight, eight and nine over the next three and led his team in that department in Game 3 and 4. Butlers activity on the glass is especially important because Bam Adebayos rebounding numbers have tailed off recently — the Heat big man has eight boards over his last two after racking up 25 in the first two games of the series. Miami won the rebounding battle in all but one of its games against the Celtics and the over on Butlers rebounding prop is currently available at plus odds (+106).
Bet on Jimmy Butler Player Props on SI Sportsbook
Outside Shots Fall for Jayson Tatum: Bet Tatum Over 3.5 Threes
Tatums three-point shooting has been a struggle this series. He shot 35% from beyond the arc in the regular season but hes down to just 31% against the Heat. Tatum is, however, coming off a 4-9 performance, his best shooting game of the conference finals — he was 5-20 in the three games prior. In three elimination games this postseason, Tatum is attempting 10 threes on average and hes shooting 47% from outside in those contests. Its a small sample size, but if hes hoisting double digit attempts from deep, he has a good shot of delivering on the over, which is also available at plus odds (+116).
Bet on Jayson Tatum Player Props on SI Sportsbook
Jaylen Browns Scoring Struggles Continue: Bet Brown Under 23.5 Points
Browns scoring average has declined in each playoff series. He was good for 26.7 points per game against the Hawks, 22.9 in the Sixers series and now just 16.8 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat. Brown has failed to score 20 points in three consecutive games and hes gone under his points prop in four straight. His field goal percentage is down to 39% and hes shooting just 12% on three-pointers after he lit it up from deep in the first two rounds. For the playoffs, Brown has finished with fewer than 23.5 points in 10 of 17 games.
Will the Heat Win Again at TD Garden?
Miami has done well for itself up in Boston over the last few years. The Easts No. 8 seed already stole the first two games of this series, won there once in the regular season and took two of three games at TD Garden in the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals. On the other hand, the Celtics are 1–3 straight up and against the spread over their last three games on their home court. The Heat have been extremely profitable as underdogs so far in these playoffs.
NBA Playoffs Betting Record: 26–25
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