Despite a horrid shooting performance from Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, it looked like the Miami Heat had the series in the bag up 103-102 with just three ticks remaining on the clock. Then Derrick White came up with a tip-in as time expired to deliver the Boston Celtics the victory in an instant classic.
Depending on how you look at it, the loss could be seen as demoralizing or encouraging for the Heat. Perhaps it’s both. However, both teams made clear in the aftermath that they will win Game 7 — and only one can be correct.
Here are my best bets and predictions for this historical Game 7 between the Celtics and Heat.
Celtics vs Heat Game 7 Odds
NBA odds used for these best bets are current as of Sunday, May 28, at 7 a.m. ET, and were found at DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Moneyline: Celtics (-330) • Heat (+275)
- Spread: Celtics -8 (-110) • Heat +8 (-110)
- Total Points: Over 203.5 (-110) • Under 203.5 (-110)
Celtics vs Heat Game 7 Prediction
Heat 106, Celtics 102
Admittedly, it would be quite cruel for the Celtics to come all the way back from a 3-0 deficit just to lose in Game 7 on their home floor. Only three other teams in NBA history have done what Boston has in this series, but all of them had to play Game 7 on the road.
However, it wouldn’t shock me if the Celtics do go on to lose Game 7. It’s taken a lot of energy and emotion to survive three consecutive elimination games to get to this point, and their streaky three-point shooting (7-of-35) was almost too much to overcome in Game 6.
The Heat may well be dejected, but they certainly didn’t show it on Saturday night. This was the most fight we’ve seen out of Miami since the beginning of the series, and had they not had such a poor showing inside the arc (19-of-63), this one would likely be over.
Boston does have home court and momentum on its side, but road teams are 4-2 in this series, and it’s not like Miami didn’t have momentum up 3-0 going into Game 4. Anything is possible in this Game 7, but I’m siding with the Heat to pull off the unthinkable.
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Celtics vs Heat Game 7 Best Bets
Heat +8 (-110) • DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
Whether the Heat win or lose Game 7, banking on them to cover this 8-point spread is the way to go. With a low projected total of 203.5 points, this is simply too large of a spread for the favorite to reliably cover.
It also helps that Miami is 12-5 against the spread in the playoffs, which is the best record and highest cover percentage among all teams that made the postseason. It’s gone 4-2 ATS in this series and covered in Game 6 as 3-point underdogs.
With a trip to the NBA Finals on the line, this is about as high as the stakes get. Erik Spoelstra will ensure that his team is put in a position to win, and I really don’t see either team building much separation in this one.
Lock in the Heat as 8-point underdogs with your NBA bet of the day.
Over 203.5 Points (-110) • DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
Despite the fact that the lowest-scoring games of this series have come in at 207 points, the Over/Under for Game 7 is set at just 203.5 points. Oddsmakers are clearly expecting a rock fight here and assuming that both teams will slow things down in the final frame.
I tend to agree with them, but this point total just feels too low. The Celtics had an abysmal showing from three in Game 6, and the Heat couldn’t get anything going in the paint, and these teams still found a way to hit 207.
I expect to see some positive regression out of each side, and although I do believe we’ll see a slower pace here, I still like the Over — even if only by a touch.
Celtics vs Heat Game 6
- Prediction: Celtics 107, Heat 101
- Result: Celtics 104, Heat 103
Celtics vs Heat Game 5
- Prediction: Celtics 117, Heat 112
- Result: Celtics 110, Heat 97
Celtics vs Heat Game 4
- Prediction: Heat 119, Celtics 104
- Result: Celtics 116, Heat 99
Celtics vs Heat Game 3
- Prediction: Celtics 116, Heat 108
- Result: Heat 128, Celtics 102
Celtics vs Heat Game 2
- Prediction: Celtics 120, Heat 114
- Result: Heat 111, Celtics 105
Celtics vs Heat Game 1
- Prediction: Celtics 104, Heat 99
- Result: Heat 123, Celtics 116
Celtics vs Heat Series Preview
One year after Jayson Tatum led the Boston Celtics to a Game 7 victory over the Miami Heat, the two sides are back in the Eastern Conference Finals for another go at each other — and a highly-coveted shot at the NBA title.
With Game 1 taking place this Wednesday, May 17, let’s take some time before the series begins to analyze how this one may shake out between the Celtics and Heat.
Celtics vs Heat Series Odds
To Win Series: Celtics (-525) • Heat (+400)
Somewhat surprisingly, sportsbooks aren’t giving the Heat much of a chance to win this series. Make no mistake — Boston is clearly the better team here — but Miami has already knocked off the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks en route to this series.
Moreover, the Heat have one of the top postseason performers on their roster in Jimmy Butler, who averaged more than 25 points per game against the Celtics when they met in last year’s playoffs.
However, Boston gets the significant betting edge here thanks to the presence of Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and overall excellence on both ends of the floor.
Celtics vs Heat Series Prediction
Celtics Win 4-2
Boston may be the heavy favorite, but I’m not prepared to call for this series to end in fewer than six games. Erik Spoelstra is a mastermind at head coach, and Joe Mazzulla‘s lack of postseason experience has shown thus far.
With that said, the Celtics clearly field the better roster. Tatum and Brown have both played phenomenal basketball, but Boston also features key role players in Marcus Smart, Robert Williams III, and Malcolm Brogdon, to name a few, who can quickly turn tides.
Butler and Bam Adebayo will have to be at their very best in this series, but even then, I don’t believe it’ll be enough to pull off another upset. I’m no fan of betting against Butler — I want to make that very clear — but the Celtics simply overwhelm the Heat in terms of top-to-bottom talent.
Celtics vs Heat Series Best Bets
Heat +2.5 Games (-130) • DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
If you believe the Heat will win more than one game in this series, this is the bet to place. These are relatively favorable odds at (-130), and the alternative of betting Celtics -1.5 (-195) requires a lot more juice.
Let’s look at it this way, though. Boston defeated the Atlanta Hawks in six games and the Philadelphia 76ers in seven. For this bet to lose, Miami would need to go out in five or fewer games.
If the Hawks can take two from the Celtics, Butler and the Heat surely can. I’m taking Miami +2.5 games without a second thought.