After looking like all hope was lost after losing the first three games to the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics are on the verge of making history as they look to be the first team in NBA Playoff history to come back from an 0-3 deficit. They struggled to get their offense going in the early half of the series, now finally being on the right side of shot variance. Off the heels of an impressive game five victory, my prediction is that the Celtics will continue to find consistency on offense and clear their team total over.
Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat Prediction
While luck isn’t the deciding factor of how a series plays out, it can play a major role in swinging momentum. The Celtics found themselves on the wrong end of it as they suffered horrific shot variance in games one through three. They mirror the same offensive identity as the Miami Heat, relying on perimeter shooting to stretch out the floor and let their playmakers go to work by attacking the middle.
The issue early on in this series is that the shots refused to fall for the Celtics, allowing the Heat to get out in a fast break and get high quality looks in transition. By mirroring the Celtics offensive identity, the Heat run four capable shooters that are well equipped to attack the open gaps as the Celtics reeled back in transition. This allowed the Heat to score at will, building a scoring pace that the Celtics struggled to keep up with.
Now that Boston’s shot making is starting to regress back towards the mean, this limits the transition opportunities for the Heat and forces them to beat the Celtics in the halfcourt. This plays into the Celtics hands as they generate havoc at the perimeter, either forcing the offense inside to a suffocating interior defense or create a turnover opportunity to get out in transition. Quick scoring opportunities is exactly what we’re hoping for, increasing the scoring pace to help clear our team total over.
The Pick: Boston Celtics Team Total o106.5
Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat Betting Odds
Can Boston continue to apply pressure to the heat and continue this series? Oddsmakers think so as they opened Boston as a -3 favorite on the road for game six. That number has yet to move in either direction, staying firm on the opener. This is a stark difference from their recent home number, closing at -8.5 in game five. I will consider adding a piece on their spread as I believe we see the same offensive success that they have built on their last two games, but I’m sticking with their team total over for now.
Speaking of totals, points are expected to be scored at a sluggish pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 213.5. Bettors were quick to back the under, taking the number down to as low as 210.5. This is an immediate stay away for me as my Celtics team total over is correlated with slowing down the Heat’s offense, giving opposite factors towards the result of the total.
- Celtics are 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings in Miami
- Over is 5-2 in the last seven meetings overall
- Under is 5-1 in the last seven meetings in Miami
Can Jaylen Brown sustain his recent success?
Jaylen Brown Vs. Heat interior defense
It hasn’t been an ideal series for the Celtics playmaker as Jaylen Brown has been practically non-existent in games one through four. That was until a game five explosion, shooting 50% to the tune of 21 points.
He benefits from Jayson Tatum taking a brunt of the Heat’s defensive attention, getting single coverage on the opposite side of the court. This should be a similar trend in game six, getting the opportunity to get back into a rhythm early in the contest.
The Celtics entered the playoffs second in Offensive Efficiency per TeamRankings and are finally showing it. Their ability to find production out of their secondary scorers is a key reason to them clearing their team total over.
With the Heat’s shot making regressing back towards the mean, I expect the Celtics to continue to turn their defense into quick transition points to help clear their team total over.
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
Miami Heat Starting Lineups
Boston Celtics Injuries: Malcolm Brogdon (Q)
Miami Heat Injuries: Gabe Vincent (Q), Victor Oladipo (O), Tyler Herro (O)