The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics will square off against each other Tuesday night in the bubble to open the 2020 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals, so we bring you the best betting pick and tips along with the latest odds update.
The fourth-seeded Heat stunned the team with the best regular-season record in the league in the previous round, eliminating the Milwaukee Bucks in five games. The third-seeded Celtics beat the reigning champs Toronto Raptors in the semis, so we expect to see a great battle in the conference finals.
The Heat can count on all their players, while the Celtics are without Gordon Hayward (ankle). Boston might miss Vincent Poirier, too, as the 26-year-old big man left the bubble for the birth of his child.
What’s at Stake?
The opening game shouldn’t mean a lot, although it’s always nice to start the series with a win. However, this should be a very tight battle and don’t be surprised if it goes to all seven games.
As I’ve mentioned above, the Heat beat the Bucks in five games in the previous round even though they were listed as massive underdogs. Miami has won eight of its nine games this postseason and will look to stay on the winning path.
The Celtics, on the other side, had an easy job in the first round and swept the Sixers, but they played an exhausting seven-game series in the semis which could cause problems when they face off against the fresh Miami team.
This will be a clash of two excellent defensive teams that love to be aggressive and switch almost everything on the defensive end. Therefore, I don’t expect to see a bunch of points in this series.
The Celtics surrender only 100.0 points per game which are the fewest of all teams in the playoffs. Their opponents make just 40.5% of their field goals and 30.5% of their 3-pointers, making the Celtics’ D the best in the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
On the other side, the Heat allow 103.7 points per contest on 44.5% shooting from the field and 34.8% from beyond the 3-point line.
These two foes are very similar, preferring to play with four small guys and one true big man, and that’s another reason why I’m looking for a tight matchup and a low-scoring affair.
The Heat score 112.1 points per game while making 46.1% of their field goals and 38.0% of their treys. They will have a tall task to replicate these numbers against the Celtics who average 107.6 points on 45.0% shooting from the field and 34.1% from beyond the arc.
The Celtics are 5-1 straight up in their last six encounters with the Heat and are 13-4 SU over their previous 17 head-to-head duels. On the other hand, the Heat are 8-4 ATS in their last 12 games against Boston, but with a 1.5-point spread, I suggest you go with the moneyline odds.
Anyway, I will avoid the side bet and take the under on the totals instead. The under is 5-1 in the last six meetings between the Heat and Celtics, and considering their recent displays, this seems like a logical choice.