Game: Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Heat +4, Celtics -4
Boston is favored tonight against the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat and could vault themselves into a tie for that top spot. The Celtics are in a great position to do so as they have won six of their last seven games and 13 of their last 16 against opponents from the Eastern Conference. Plus, they have two wins over the Heat already this season.
Miami, which played 11 of its last 12 games at home, now hits the road for three straight. The Heat lost four of their last five, losing four straight before beating Sacramento on Monday night. Miami has just four wins in its last ten games and they have not been good against the number going 1-7 ATS in their last eight games.
The Heat has, however, performed well on the road. They are 21-16 SU in road games this season and 22-14-1 ATS in those games. Over their last nine games away from home, Miami is 7-1-1 ATS. After Boston, Miami travels to Chicago and Toronto. This road trip could decide their final playoff position.
The Celtics had won six straight before giving Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum the night off on Monday. Without their two leading scorers, Boston put up a huge fight against Toronto eventually losing 115-112 in overtime. Brown and Tatum will be back in the lineup tonight. They combine for 50.5 points a game for the Celtics. Tatum has been exceptionally good as of late, averaging 31.1 points per game over his last nine.
What Boston will miss though is C Robert Williams III. Williams injured a knee and will miss the remainder of the regular season. His status for the playoffs has yet to be determined, but Boston will miss his presence, especially on defense. Boston has the NBA’s No. 1 defense allowing just 104.1 points per game. The Celtics have held four of their last eight opponents under 100 points. In the two games against the Heat this year, Boston allowed Miami to score 92 and 78 points.
Boston is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games. The only time they failed to cover in that span was as a 13-point favorite over Oklahoma City. The Celtics won that game by nine points. The last time Boston and Miami played was on Jan. 31. The Celtics won 122-92 at home as a 6.5-point favorite. The Celtics have covered in both games this season.
The Heat have the fourth-ranked defense in the league (105.2 ppg). Despite both teams having excellent defenses, both have been trending Over. The Over is 4-2 in Miami’s last six games. The total has gone Over in six straight games for Boston. The Heat-Celtics series has also trended Over with seven of the last nine game totals resulting in the Over. The total has also gone Over in five of the last six meetings at TD Garden in Boston.
The last ten head-to-head games have averaged 222.1 points and Miami’s road O/U record this season is 23-14.