NBA playoffs: Betting odds, picks as Heat look to take 3-0 over Celtics in Eastern Conference finals


Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Two
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Clutch stats are notoriously unsustainable, but what the Heat have done this postseason is truly special. They have played 12 total playoff games. Eight of them have included NBA-defined clutch situations: five minutes or less left on the clock with the score within five points in either direction. The Heat have won seven of those eight games. In 37 minutes, they’ve outscored their opponents by 34 points. The closest point-differential to theirs is literally half of what they’ve posted. The Nuggets are +17 in 28 clutch minutes. 

Something special is happening with that team. This isn’t just random shooting variance. The Heat have developed an identity within the bubble as clutch killers, and they’re embracing it in the Eastern Conference finals. They now have Boston on the ropes, and today could push them over the top. Here are the best bets for Game 3. 

All lines via William Hill Sportsbook

Heat vs. Celtics: Miami +2.5

Boston’s urgency makes them the favorites here, but the Heat have proven to be the far more adaptable team. Their big second-half comebacks have been no accident. Erik Spoelstra has consistently identified opposing weaknesses and exploited them on the fly, as he did with his zone defense in Game 2. Picking Boston essentially means picking a blowout given Miami’s clutch excellence. If you expect this game to be close, as it should be, taking Miami with the points is the right play. 

Heat vs. Celtics: Over 206.5

Boston will have an answer for Miami’s zone in Game 3. It may not be ideal, but it will be better than the aimlessness that ruined Game 2. Usually, that means more 3-point shooting, which means more overall scoring. Miami’s offense has held up its end of the bargain from an over perspective in both games so far this series. If the Celtics can catch up even a little bit, this will be a high-scoring game. 

Heat vs. Celtics: Bam Adebayo Over 15.5 points

Boston’s defense does a lot of things very well, but aside from the minutes that Robert Williams plays (which should be quite limited for other reasons), the Celtics lack verticality. Bam Adebayo exploited that with lobs and other explosive finishes in Game 2, and given Miami’s shooting, there isn’t much Boston can do to prevent that. He is going to get easy looks at the basket, and the Celtics are going to live with that in favor of stopping everything else. 





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