Celtics vs. Heat Bets: Celtics Deliver In Must Win

Boston is desperate for a win after losing Game 3, who should bettors back in tonight's Game 4 matchup?

Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals providing a rollar-coaster of emotions for NBA fans.

The Celtics were originally listed as six-point favorites, which dropped to five points after it was announced Robert Williams would miss the game due to knee soreness. After Miami jumped out to a shocking 46-20 lead, most assumed the Heat would coast to a comfortable victory.

Boston fans saw a glimmer of hope when Miami star Jimmy Butler was ruled out for the second half with a knee injury. After a late third-quarter run by Boston that cut the Miami lead to eight, the Celtics lost forward Jayson Tatum for most of the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury. Tatum did return, but was not effective, and Miami nabbed a critical 109-103 road win without their star player.

The Celtics need to even this series and avoid the daunting task of needing to win three straight games, including two in Miami. How will Boston respond tonight after a shocking Game 3 defeat?

Here are my picks for tonight’s Game 4 matchup in Beantown.

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Celtics vs. Heat Betting Odds

Celtics Heat
Spread -6 +6
Moneyline -260 +230
Over/Under 206.5

*Lines accurate at the time of publication.

Celtics vs. Heat Monday Night Picks

Celtics -6 (-110, DraftKings)

Miami secured the road win they needed, after losing home court advantage to Boston after Game 2. It’s very difficult to see the Heat winning a second consecutive road game, especially with the myriad of injuries affecting their roster.

Guard Tyler Herro has already been ruled out, with Butler, Kyle Lowry, and PJ Tucker all questionable for Game 4. That puts Miami at a significant disadvantage against a Boston team that should have almost all of their roster available. Forward Jayson Tatum (right cervical nerve impingement) is probable, and guard Marcus Smart (sprained ankle) returned to Game 4 after leaving the game. The unknown for the Celtics is center Robert Williams (knee soreness), who would provide a big boost against Heat center Bam Adebayo if available.

Tatum had another poor performance, similar to his disastrous Game 3 against Milwaukee. He responded in All-Star fashion against the Bucks, posting 30 or more points in each of the next three games. I project a similar performance tonight, especially if Butler is unable to play.

This game could easily be a second-half blowout, which would cause the Heat to pull their starters and prepare for a home Game 5. The Celtics are 22-13 (62.9 percent) against the spread following a loss, and 9-5 (64.2 percent) ATS in the playoffs. Assuming Smart plays, I will lay the big number with Boston at home in a must-win Game 4.

Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)

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Celtics vs. Heat Under 206.5 Points (-110, DraftKings)

Let’s project some shooting regression for a Miami team that was scorching the nets in Game 3. Miami led 62-37 with under three minutes left in the first half, before the Celtics closed to 93-92 with just 2:40 left in the fourth quarter.

With the Heat roster limited by injuries, especially Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro, I expect the Heat to play to the comfortable slow pace even more than normal. The Heat ranked as the second slowest team in pace of play in the regular season, only trailing Dallas.

The Heat were just 9-7 without Tyler Herro this year, and I don’t expect Butler to play when Miami has already taken back home court advantage.

I expect a win from a desperate Celtics team and do not see an high scoring game in that scenario. Even in a blowout, I’m backing the under in Game 4.

Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)

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