The scene changes to Boston after both teams landed decisive wins in Miami. The returns of Marcus Smart and Al Horford proved to be vital for Boston and now word on Kyle Lowry and PJ Tucker is top of mind for game 3. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that the swelling has subsided in Tucker’s left knee and he intends to play in game 3. Lowry seems more truly questionable as he has not played since May 8th when he reaggravated his left hamstring strain.
The thought coming into this series was it would turn into a rock fight but that was not the case in Miami. Considering all the moving pieces due to injury there has not been much ability for Erik Spoelstra or Ime Udoka to grind down on matchups the way they would want. That rock fight still could be in the offing but banking on it after the first two games we just saw seems a little far-fetched.
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Heat vs. Suns Betting Odds
*Lines accurate at time of publication
Heat vs. Suns Best Bets
Celtics 1st Half -3 (-110, DraftKings)
There has only been one quarter the entire series that Miami has won, the third in game 1, where Miami outscored Boston by a whopping 25. Boston has won both first halves this series and four of the five first halves overall against Miami this season.
The Heat have struggled away from home in the playoffs, only 2-3 overall and not covering this first half number in three of those games. The inconsistencies of Miami’s half-court offense and the disappearance of Bam Adebayo have to led to slower starts in this series. Spoelstra is a wonderful coach at adjustments but leaning on the adjustments lends to a benefit in the second half more than the first.
In the playoffs, Boston is +5.7 on average in the first half and even if you take out the +25 from game 2, they are +4.0, while Miami is +1.0 and +3.1 if you take away game 2. With Boston at home and questions around Miami, a quick start does not seem to be in the offing.
Risk: 1.1 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Playable to -120)
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Celtics -6.5 (-105, BetMGM)
With the uncertainty around the Heat coming into game 3 and the Celtics, if anything, having to decide which effective player from their rotation they will limit in game 3, the optionality is clearly on the side of Boston. Even outside of the status of Tucker and Lowry, the biggest concern many had for the Heat coming into the playoffs was their lack of consistent half-court offense and that has been an issue.
They have the worst half-court offense of the four teams remaining, 94.2 per Cleaning the Glass, and are searching for consistency outside of Jimmy Butler. Bam Adebayo has only taken 10 shots in the first two games combined and Boston has done a great job of denying Adebayo touches. In the first two rounds of the playoffs, Adebayo averaged 33.5 front-court touches and in the two games of this series against Boston, he is only getting 18.0. When Miami is at their best, Adebayo is keeping bigs honest with his offense and setting up the shooters coming off screens on the perimeter.
The consistency of Boston, paired with a trip home and unknowns around Miami makes this a worthwhile bet.
Risk: 1.05 units on BetMGM to win 1 unit. (Playable to -120)
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