Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat: Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds (1/24/23)

As we surpass the halfway point of the NBA season, each win becomes that more valuable as seeding starts to take effect. While the Boston Celtics have a firm lead for first place in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat find themselves in a more peculiar situation. The Heat currently have a one game lead at sixth place, making it vitally important that they keep winning in order to avoid the play-in tournament. Can they pad their lead against the Celtics?

Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat Betting Odds

Oddsmakers initially had it as a near pick’em, opening the Heat as a -1 favorite on their home floor. They benefit from the Celtics potentially resting some key starters in Marcus Smart and Al Horford, while also giving key role player Malcolm Brogdon rest as well. In light of that news, bettors have backed the Heat by taking them up to -3 as of writing. This comes as a bit of surprise and a potential over reaction as the Celtics run deep and have capable backups who could start on any other team.

As for the total, oddsmakers have this as a low scoring affair by opening the total at 223.5. Bettors have targeted the under by smashing it down to as low as 217 as of writing. This brings some intrigue as both teams are capable scoring units as long as the Celtics have both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum on the court. Should they avoid the injury list, the Celtics will still be a viable scoring team to crack the Heat defense.

Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat Prediction

The Pick: Wait on the total to keep dropping

With that being said, I will pass on this game from a pregame perspective and will wait to see if the total will continue to drop before coming in on the over. The Celtics are number one for a reason and that is because they boast an elite depth with any secondary player being more than capable of starting for any other NBA team. This limits the fall off in production should anyone not named Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown not be able to play that night.

Especially in their big man department, trading Al Horford for a combination of Grant Williams and Robert Williams. Robert Williams is more of a defensive player who anchors the interior, but has excelled as a scoring presence with a nose for the ball with second chance opportunities. Grant Williams remains an offensive threat, capable of stretching out the defense with his shooting presence as well as crashing the boards as well.

Replacing Marcus Smart also brings in another offensive minded player in Derrick White. While his averages have dipped, he still brings another viable shooting option for the Celtics by averaging 36.9% from the perimeter. He will garner open looks all game as the Heat’s focus will reside on the duo of Tatum and Brown. The Heat defense is incredible, but the Celtics have more than enough to keep them reeling.

Betting Trends

  • Celtics are 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings against each other
  • Under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings at Miami
  • Celtics are 4-0 ATS in the last four games in Miami

Key Matchups

How will the Celtics defense fare against the full powered Miami offense?

Miami scoring production vs Celtics interior defense

One concern for our potential over ticket is that the Miami Heat offensive game plan is very under friendly. They lack a perimeter presence, relying on clean looks in the paint for scoring production. Their lack of consistent shooting has hampered them, middling in the Eastern Conference.

That style of offense may struggle against the Celtics interior in this matchup as Robert Williams has excelled at anchoring the paint. The battle between him and Bam Adebayo will be the key metric to watch as we need them to find success against each other for our over ticket to keep in good shape.

Verdict

I will pass on this for now, waiting for the total to keep dropping before taking the over.

Boston Celtics Starting Lineup

PG: Derrick White
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Grant Williams
C: Robert Williams

Miami Heat Starting Lineups

PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: Tyler Herro
SF: Jimmy Butler
PF: Caleb Martin
C: Bam Adebayo

Key Injuries

Boston Celtics Injuries: Malcolm Brogdon (D), Marcus Smart (D), Al Horford (D)

Miami Heat Injuries: Duncan Robinson (O)

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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