The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will square off against each other Saturday night in the bubble, as Game 3 of the 2020 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals is on the schedule.
The tip-off is set at 8:30 PM ET, so we have prepared all must-read betting tips and trends along with the latest odds update for the Celtics versus Heat showdown. The fourth-seeded Miami stunned the third-seeded Celtics on the previous two occasions, and we’re about to see a high-stake Game 3.
Boston will miss Vincent Poirier (personal), while Gordon Hayward (ankle) and Romeo Langford (hip) are doubtful to play. Miami is coming in full strength.
The Celtics lost the first two contests of the series as two and three-point favorites. They opened as three-point favorites once again, and that’s bookies’ cliché, as Celtics are in a must-win situation ahead of Game 3.
The Heat won the opener 117-114 in overtime. They outlasted Boston 106-101 this past Thursday, so the total count is even. Game 3 opened at 206.5 points on BetAmerica.
What’s at Stake?
The Celtics will be in big trouble if they suffer another defeat. No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit.
The Heat overcame a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit in the opener and trailed by 13 at halftime in Game 2. Coming from behind to win big games is always a massive boost for the team’s confidence, but the Heat know the Celtics won’t go away easily.
After a second straight loss, the Celtics had a brawl in the locker room, as Marcus Smart was furious about his teammates’ actions on the floor.
The Celtics blew a huge lead in Game 1 by playing lousy offense down the stretch. They did the same thing last Thursday when their game fell apart in the third quarter that Miami won 37-17.
Boston committed 20 turnovers in Game 2, and that’s unacceptable, especially at this level. The Celtics shot the ball well, making 50.0% of their field goals and 35.7% from beyond the arc while limiting the Heat on 44.4% shooting from the field and 32.6% from downtown. And they still lost the game.
Kemba Walker led the way for the Celtics with 23 points, seven boards, and three assists. Jayson Tatum had 21 points, five rebounds, and four dimes, while Jaylen Brown added 21 points and six boards.
On the other side, Goran Dragic had another big game. The 34-year-old guard scored 25 points on 10-for-19 shooting from the field after dropping 29 in the opener.
All five Heat starters scored in double figures. Duncan Robinson hit six triples on 12 attempts from deep, while Jimmy Butler had a quiet night with 14 points on 4-for-11 from the field. Bam Adebayo was an X-factor with some huge second-half plays on both sides of the ball, finishing Game 2 with 21 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
Miami is a hard-working team. The Heat will take advantage of any given chance, while the Celtics desperately need to be more consistent. Boston will have to find a way to execute well offensively for all 48 minutes or Miami will cruise through the series.
I hit the under on the totals in Game 2, but I also suggested you go with the Celtics if you don’t prefer wagering on points. It was a huge disappointment, as for the most of the game, it looked like the Celtics are a better team that deserves to tie the series.
Taking the under once more is a nice option, for sure, but the bookies continue to lower the line, and I don’t feel comfortable with 206.5 points in total. Therefore, I’m backing the Celtics to win straight up at -145 odds.
This should be another tight clash decided by a few possessions down the stretch. The Celtics are in dire straits and have to prove their worth in the biggest game of their season.
Boston is 13-6 straight up in its last 19 meetings with Miami but only 3-8 ATS over the previous 11 encounters.