Celtics vs. Heat Odds
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Boston Celtics look to initiate a comeback that has never been done in NBA History as they try to climb out of a 3-0 hole against the Miami Heat.
Can the Celtics avoid one of the most embarrassing sweeps in recent history and bring the series back home to Boston?
Find out in my Celtics vs. Heat Game 4 preview below, which includes a betting pick.
This Celtics team is unserious. There’s no question they have more talent on their roster than Miami — however, they can’t put it together.
They have been abysmal on both sides of the ball, with an eFG% of just 51.7% and an inflated Turnover% of 13.5% — shoutout Jaylen “Vase Hands” Brown as Brandon Anderson calls him; also bet his over 2.5 turnovers again. What is even more surprising is they’ve been crushing the offensive glass with an OREB% of 27.3 (far superior to Miami’s 17.4).
However, what may be most surprising is Boston is losing this series despite seven players averaging double-digit points (Luke Kornet barely counts, but still). The issue is that Tatum can’t stop turning the ball over and he’s shooting just 25% from 3-point range despite taking 20 across three games.
Boston’s other SuperMax eligible All-NBA talent, Jaylen Brown, is averaging just 16.7 PPG on 37.7% shooting. He is scoring just 0.806 points per shot attempt on 30.8% usage, per Cleaning the Glass. In other words, Boston’s best players are not contributing to their ultimate capacity.
Overall, Boston is struggling from deep, and the team has run cold. The Celtics are shooting just 28.3% from 3-point range. The Heat have done a good job throughout the postseason of limiting their opponents from deep — in total they’ve allowed opponents to shoot just 32.2% from long range.
This is still a far cry from the 38.2% Boston has shot from the playoffs overall. Can we expect this to regulate? It’s tough to say.
Boston, however, is shooting just 32.6% on wide-open 3s (closest defender 6+ feet) and 32.6% on open 3s (4-6 feet). Those numbers are both below expectations for a team with elite shotmakers, per NBA Advanced Stats.
It’s notable that when the Celtics win, it’s because they are making their 3s. In their eight wins, they are scoring 116.3 points while shooting 41% from 3-point range. In their eight losses? They are scoring 111.9 on 34.3% from long range. They live and die by the three.
The Heat have taken an impressive series lead on the backs of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, but they’ve also received meaningful contributions up and down the roster.
Caleb Martin has been awesome, and I am flabbergasted that the man who is leading the series in 3s and 3-point attempts has his 3s prop set again at 1.5 (-145; DraftKings) while 3+ is (+220). He is averaging 19.3 points and 3.3 3s per game on 47.6% shooting from long range in a consistent 32.3 minutes per game.
I’d play both considering his volume and efficiency. I like this spot because we only need two to cash, an added bonus is his defensive versatility and hustle have him locked into a large minutes even if his shots don’t fall right away.
It feels like trying to catch a falling knife, but Miami is shooting so far above expectation it’s incredible. The Heat are scoring 125.3 points per 100 possessions on 60.5% eFG%. But their expected eFG% is just 51.5% — they simply can’t miss from deep with a team shooting percentage of 45.7%.
All of these would be the best in the NBA throughout the entire season except for their Expected eFG%, which would be by far the worst amongst any team in the regular season and only worse than the Phoenix Suns (who broke things due to their incredible accuracy and efficiency from the mid-range).
The impressive thing is the Heat are doing this with Jimmy scoring much less. Rather, he’s been an excellent facilitator and is averaging 6.3 assists on nine potentials per game. Additionally, Bam Adebayo has thrived as another offensive hub with 5.3 assists on seven potentials per game. They’ve had fluid ball movement and Jimmy Butler is forcing issues with Derrick White.
They are also very comfortable against Boston’s drop coverage — Boston needs to make adjustments to keep up.
This game comes down to whether you think Boston’s shots fall and Miami’s stop falling. That can be difficult to predict.
Boston has not demonstrated anything to deserve respect, but just looking at the underlying metrics, it’s tough to say Miami can keep this up.
The Celtics have a +6.7 Net Rating in the first half during the playoffs and there’s generally been more pace in the first half than the second in the Conference Finals. I expect Boston to start strong as it makes a push in a win-or-go-home spot.
Pick: Boston 1H Team Total Over 52.5 (FanDuel)