Sunday, July 3, 2022

NBA Eastern Conference finals: Celtics vs. Heat odds, Game 5 picks, prediction from expert on 35-16 roll

The 2022 Eastern Conference finals shifts back to FTX Arena on Wednesday evening. The Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics for Game 5, with the series knotted at 2-2. Each team has a road win in the series, though Boston held serve with a blowout home win in Game 4 on Monday. Marcus Smart (ankle) and Robert Williams (knee) are listed as questionable for the Celtics. Tyler Herro (groin), Kyle Lowry (hamstring), P.J. Tucker (knee), Max Strus (hamstring), and Gabe Vincent (hamstring) are listed as questionable for the Heat.

Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. ET in Miami. Caesars Sportsbook lists the Celtics as 1.5-point road favorites, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 203.5 in the latest Celtics vs. Heat odds. Before you make any Heat vs. Celtics picks and NBA predictions, you need to see what SportsLine expert Zack Cimini has to say.

A Las Vegas handicapper who’s never afraid to buck conventional wisdom, Cimini excels in multiple sports. Over the past 33 NBA selections, Cimini is 22-11, returning almost $1,000 to $100 players. He is also on an amazing 35-16-1 run with his last 52 against-the-spread picks involving the Celtics, returning $1,648 to $100 players during that span. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, Cimini has set his sights on Celtics vs. Heat, and just locked in his picks and NBA playoff predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see his picks. Here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Heat vs. Celtics:

  • Celtics vs. Heat spread: Celtics -1.5
  • Celtics vs. Heat over-under: 103.5 points
  • Celtics vs. Heat money line: Celtics -125, Heat +105
  • Celtics vs. Heat tickets: See tickets at StubHub
  • BOS: The Celtics are 10-5 against the spread in playoff games
  • MIA: The Heat are 9-6 against the spread in playoff games

Featured Game | Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics

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Why the Celtics can cover

Though the series is tied at 2-2, Boston’s statistical profile is far better than Miami’s during the Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics are out-scoring the Heat by nearly eight points per 100 possessions, including elite-level marks on both offense and defense. Boston is scoring 115.8 points per 100 possessions against a stingy Miami defense, and the Celtics are grabbing 30.7 percent of their missed shots on the offensive glass. Ime Udoka’s team is also riding a 60.1 percent true shooting mark, and Boston is near the top of the playoffs in both assist percentage (65.0 percent) and assists per game (24.5). 

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are both averaging well over 20 points per game on strong efficiency in the postseason, and Boston’s defense is fantastic. The Celtics led the NBA in defensive efficiency this season, and Boston is giving up only 1.06 points per possession in the postseason. Miami is averaging only 20.8 assists per game in the series, and the Heat are shooting only 43.1 percent from the field against the Celtics. 

Why the Heat can cover

Miami’s offense sputtered considerably in Game 4, but the Heat have a strong baseline on that end of the floor. The Heat are grabbing 30.4 percent of missed shots on the offensive glass in the playoffs, and Miami led the NBA in 3-point accuracy (37.9 percent) during the regular season. The Heat also ranked solidly in the top 10 of the league in 3-pointers per game, free throw accuracy, assists per game, and assist percentage. 

Additionally, Miami is elite on defense, ranking in the top four of the NBA in several major statistical categories during the 82-game regular season. The Heat are also yielding less than 1.08 points per possession in the playoffs, and Miami is averaging a robust 19.0 points per game off turnovers. Miami is forcing a Boston turnover on 16.1 percent of defensive possessions during the series, averaging 9.3 steals per game in the process. 

How to make Heat vs. Celtics picks

For Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, Cimini is leaning over on the point total, but he also says a critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back. He’s only sharing what it is, and which side of the Heat vs. Celtics spread to back, at SportsLine.

So who wins Celtics vs. Heat? And which side of the spread is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Heat vs. Celtics spread you need to jump on Wednesday, all from the expert that has crushed his NBA picks, and find out.  

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