NBA Odds, Predictions, Best Bets: Our Top 3 Picks for Heat vs. Celtics (Monday, May 23)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat.
- The Boston Celtics are favorites in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference finals series against the Miami Heat.
- Our NBA experts are spotting value on three props entering tonight's game.
- Check out their picks for Celtics vs. Heat below.
The all important Game 4 matchup between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics tips off Monday night at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.
The Heat stole Game 3 and retained home court advantage, but in a series as evenly matched as this, location seems to be merely a backdrop. Game 4s are often the most important game of a 2-1 series with the opportunity to tie or take a 3-1 lead hanging in the balance.
Entering tonight’s matchup, our crew of NBA experts has zeroed in on props both for the game and the series. They give their analysis and betting picks for Game 4 below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics
Munaf Manji: Jaylen Brown has played outstanding basketball in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals. He has scored 24 points in each of the first two games and put up 40 in Game 3. However, there is another area of the game where Brown has excelled in during the postseason: rebounding.
He has grabbed at least eight rebounds in all three games of this series, and topped this 6.5 line in seven of his past 10 games, including four straight games. Even with the Celtics getting Al Horford and Robert Williams back in the lineup, Brown has been rebounding the basketball well.
Scoring has been surprisingly high in this series, but the rebounding battle is going to be key in this series for both teams. I expect Brown to continue dominating on the glass.
Joe Dellera: Bam Adebayo is coming off of a dominant 31 point double-double in a Game 3 Heat victory. He thrives playing alongside Kyle Lowry and while his scoring spikes, he’s still a capable passer and the books have no properly adjusted his assists line yet.
Although he sees his assists average dip from 4.1 to 3.1 with Lowry in the lineup, he is fairly consistent with that three assists line and has recorded three or more assists in 64% of games alongside Lowry. In three games against Boston this season with Lowry, Bam has recorded four, eight, and six assists — and those six assists in Game 3 were off of 10 potential assists, per NBA Advanced Stats.
Bam is excellent at finding slashers or making the right pass to the perimeter – he doesn’t force his shot and his passing benefits his teammates. Considering his prop line of 2.5 is at about even money, and the 4+ prop is (+240), I’ll play the traditional line and the alternate for more than double the odds to record 1 more assist. He has cleared the 2.5 in 5-of-6 playoff games with Lowry and 4-plus in 4-of-6.
Brandon Anderson: It feels like just about every player is hurt in this series.
Jayson Tatum hurt his shoulder in Game 3 before returning. Jimmy Butler left at halftime with a knee injury. Marcus Smart got a nasty ankle injury that looked like it might end his playoffs, then returned heroically a few minutes later. Kyle Lowry missed the first two games of the series. Al Horford missed Game 1. Robert Williams missed Game 3. Tyler Herro is questionable with a groin injury.
One star whose name did not appear on that list is Jaylen Brown, and he continues to be a bedrock for this ailing Celtics team. Brown scored 40 in Game 3 and nearly did it himself on that huge comeback that fell just short. He’s now averaging 29 points and nine rebounds a game on the series, and he’s been an absolute star.
That’s why it’s absolutely wild that Brown is still +800 to win the first ever ECF MVP award. Boston is down in the series, sure, but the Celtics are still about even odds to win it at most books. Jayson Tatum has struggled to find consistent scoring at just 22 PPG on 44% shooting, and Brown has led the Celtics in scoring in four of six Heat games this season. Tatum is getting the brunt of Miami’s defensive attack with Jimmy Butler and P.J. Tucker on him all series, while Brown is left to hunt mismatches.
He’s taking advantage. Brown has at least three 3s in all six Heat games this season and nine of his last 10 overall. His over 2.5 treys prop continues to cash, and he’s also gone over his rebounding line in all three games this series with ease, with at least eight boards in all three games. That should be a good play too if Boston is short a big man again.
But the big hit may still be that 8-1 MVP bet. If the Celtics do comeback to win this series, Brown will have to continue to be a big part of it. He already has 22 more points than Tatum through three games, and he has eight rebounds more than any Celtic too, so he has a real chance to lead the winning team in both points and rebounds. Sounds like an MVP to me.
I bet this before the series at 10-1, and Brown’s been even better than I hoped so we’re betting it again. Time to keep that Larry Bird trophy right where it belongs in Boston.
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