Celtics vs. Heat odds, series picks, best bets and top props for 2024 NBA Playoffs matchup

With the final bracket set for the 2024 NBA Playoffs, the top-seeded Celtics will play the defending Eastern Conference-champion Heat in the opening round (Game 1: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET). We’ll dive into this exciting opening-round best-of-seven, providing the BetMGM odds, stats, trends, and best bets to advance. 

Boston enjoyed a historic season. Joe Mazzulla’s squad casually strolled to 62 wins, locking up the first seed in the East weeks before the end of the regular season. The Celtics went 37-4 at home, a feat that has only been accomplished 20 times in modern NBA history. 

Nobody ever wants to face Erik Spoelstra’s Heat at this time of year. Jimmy Butler’s absence due to a sprained MCL makes Miami far less of a threat, but the reigning Eastern Conference champs still have plenty of firepower in Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo, not to mention Terry Rozier and Duncan Robinson if they’re both cleared to play. 

Can Miami play spoiler to Boston for a second consecutive postseason? Or, will the powerhouse Celtics take care of business and steamroll the Heat like the oddsmakers expect? 

Let’s get to our betting preview for Celtics-Heat, revealing the odds, stats, and trends you should know as well as our best bets and top series props.

Celtics vs. Heat odds

Here are the latest Celtics-Heat odds courtesy of BetMGM, an authorized gaming operator of the NBA.

  • Series moneyline: Celtics -5000 | Heat +1700
  • Series game spread: Celtics -2.5 (-450)
  • Series game spread: Heat +2.5 (+325)
  • Series total games: 5.5 (Over -+350, Under -450)
  • Game 1: Celtics -13.5 (-110) | -1100 ML | O/U 208.5 (-115/-105)
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Celtics vs. Heat series picks

Oddsmakers clearly don’t give Miami much of a chance to get past the powerhouse Heat without Jimmy Butler active. The Celtics’ -5000 series moneyline implies a win probability of over 98 percent, and their -1100 Game 1 ML translates to nearly 92 percent. 

We’re not getting cute here. As of right now, there’s not much long-term value. Even playing the series game spread on Celtics -2.5 doesn’t offer much value at a whopping -450. With Butler out, one of the better value picks is Jayson Tatum at -160 to lead the series in total points scored given the lack of real competition (the next two: Jaylen Brown (+550) and Tyler Herro (+700).

MORE: Check out Steph Noh’s All-NBA picks 

We just can’t possibly imagine a situation in which Miami mounts a series upset. Nineteen other NBA teams have won 37 or more games at home in the modern 82-game season. Seventeen of those 19 teams have either swept or gentleman swept their first-round opponent. The total win-loss record of those teams in the opening round: 64-9. 

As always, Spoelstra deserves credit for even getting his team into the playoffs with Butler on the shelf. But Boston is too strong, too talented, and too deep to fall this early. The Celtics are the best three-point shooting team, the best defense, and the best passing team in the East — and they will roll the Heat and exact revenge from the Eastern Conference Finals upset last year. 

Celtics vs. Heat best prop bets

Our prediction: the Celtics win the series (-110) in either four or five games. With a healthy Butler, betting on Boston -2.5 (-450) or the series going UNDER 5.5 games (-450) likely would have returned more value, but those. If you like Boston big — as we do — playing the Celtics sweep at (-110) offers a bit more value.

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In terms of series-long player props, we’re keeping our eyes peeled for Jayson Tatum leading the series in points (-160) and also three-pointers (+220), and we like Derrick White to lead the series in assists (+230)

If you’re thinking short-term, we would probably bet the Celtics -13.5 in Game 1. If you’re thinking long-term, we don’t mind betting Boston -200 to win the Eastern Conference Finals. This squad is the best in the biz, and we can’t imagine the C’s faltering early or getting bounced before the championship round. 

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