In what has been mostly a playoffs defined by blowouts, a game 7 could be just what the doctor ordered for a dramatic ending leading into the NBA Finals. The nature of a game 7 has shown teams, players, and refs being more tentative at least early but with two teams that have plenty of playoff experience, the validity of that logic is fair to be questioned. Regardless, having a game with this much built-in drama is a welcome sign for this playoffs.
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Heat vs. Suns Betting Odds
*Lines accurate at time of publication
Celtics vs. Heat Best Bets
Celtics vs. Heat 1H u95.5 (-110, BetMGM)
The trend in the first half has been completely changed after the first three games of the series. In games 1-3, the average first-half total was 110 but in the latter half of the series, that total has plummeted to 88.6.
With two well-respected coaching staffs, the slow starts as of late can partially be attributed to small adjustments being made and navigating the best way to counteract them. Somewhat related is shot quality. That shot quality usually leads to a drop in shooting. In the last three games, the Celtics are averaging 38.9% from the field in the first half, 24.4% from three-point range and they are averaging 16.0 free throw attempts. The Heat have shot 35.1% on 34.7% from deep and only 5.7 free throw attempts in the first half over the last three games.
Risk: 1.1 units on BetMGM to win 1 unit. (Playable to -120)
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MIA 1Q ML (+110, FanDuel)
In three of the last four games, the Heat have won the first quarter. As detailed above with neither team shooting well early, the possession game takes on even more importance. In the last two games and three in the series, Boston has had the most turnovers of any quarter in the first. In the last two games, both won by the Heat, the Celtics have averaged 5.5 first quarter turnovers.
Another factor that leads to a higher ceiling in an individual quarter, is the three-point shooting of Miami. Since the start of game 3, Miami has taken more threes in each game and they have shot significantly better in the first. In the series, Miami is shooting 41.2% from deep in the first quarter and Boston is way down at 22.7%. Between the turnovers and three-point shooting, those are factors that lead to a higher early ceiling for Miami.
Risk: 1 unit on FanDuel to win 1.1 units. (Playable to -110)
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