On the second night of a home back-to-back, the Miami Heat will host the best team in the Eastern Conference: the Boston Celtics. Can the Heat sneak away with an unexpected win against Boston after suffering a bad loss at home to the injury-riddled Memphis Grizzlies? Find our Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat predictions, betting picks, and game preview below!
Boston Celtics Vs. Miami Heat Prediction
Since dropping their first home game of the season to the reigning NBA Champions (Denver), the Boston Celtics have won each of their last two road games (Houston and Dallas) by nine points; they are right back to their dominant ways.
Boston has been a beatable team on the road at times this season, holding a 14-9 record away from T.D. Garden. That differs greatly from its 20-1 record on its home floor. The team’s record isn’t the only major difference, though – the C’s net rating is 10.1 points lower on the road, and their shooting split is 46/35/78, which is quite a bit lower than the home split of 49/41/83.
However, there seems to be a shift in Boston’s defensive attention on the road recently. At least, since its embarrassing 33-point road loss to the Bucks. The C’s have a defensive rating of 102. 7 in their past three road games and have won convincingly, despite struggling on the offensive end of the floor. That is a good sign for backers of the Celtics, as they have proven they can win without shooting the lights out.
Meanwhile, after a hot offensive start to the 2023-24 regular season, the Heat have since gone cold. In January, Miami has scored roughly 11 fewer points per game than in December while shooting four percent lower from the floor (44%) and six percent lower from behind the arc (34%.) The Heat are 5-7 so far this month after losing to Memphis by nine points on Wednesday night.
Miami’s offense has looked completely discombobulated recently (it has scored fewer than 100 points in four of the past five games), and the C’s only real weakness is their three-point defense; they have allowed the third-most wide-open (6+ feet away) three-point attempts to opponents.
However, with Miami’s recent three-point shooting slump (fourth-worst 3P% in the NBA in January), we cannot back it here, especially after such a morbid performance against an injury-riddled Grizzlies team.
Boston Celtics Vs. Miami Heat Prediction: Celtics -6 (-110)
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Boston Celtics Vs. Miami Heat Best Odds
The Miami Heat are six-point home dogs against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals. Miami has Moneyline odds of +205 to grab a huge home win against the best team in the NBA, while Boston is a -250 favorite to win outright. The point total for this matchup holds steady at 224.5 points, indicating a lower-scoring affair between these two teams.
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
Boston Celtics Vs. Miami Heat Injuries
Currently, the Boston Celtics do not have any players listed on the injury report, but that could always change, so keep an eye on it leading up to tip-off to ensure that there aren’t any late-day scratches.
Meanwhile, the Miami Heat will continue to be without Dru Smith (knee), who will miss the remainder of the 2023-24 season. Jaime Jaquez Jr. (groin) will also be unavailable for this game.
With the Heat coming off of the first night of a home back-to-back, there is a chance that a few guys could be listed on the injury report after this preview is published.