NBA Odds and Picks (Tuesday, August 4): Betting Predictions for Celtics vs. Heat
Getty Images. Pictured: Jayson Tatum, Jimmy Butler
- Betting odds for Tuesday's NBA matchup between the Celtics and Heat have Boston favored by 3 points with the total set at 220.
- Boston holds a 2.5-game lead for the Eastern Conference's 3-seed, which will be an important race to win given that it postpones a potential meeting with the Bucks for one more round.
- Find our full betting preview and pick below.
Celtics vs. Heat Betting Odds
|Celtics odds||-3 [BET NOW]|
|Heat odds||+3 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-157/+132 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||219.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||6:30 p.m. ET|
The Celtics and Heat play as hard as any teams in the league, maximizing their talent for two of the NBA’s best coaches. If you’re looking for gritty, tough, playoff-feel basketball, this one should be for you.
Boston leads Miami by 2.5 games for the 3-seed, and both teams will want this one to stay away from Milwaukee as long as possible. Let’s take a closer look.
The Celtics remain as good as any team outside the NBA’s big three, ranking in the top-five on both offense and defense.
Boston is mostly healthy, though Kemba Walker is still working his way back from a back injury and slowly increasing his minutes limit. He got the start and played 22 minutes his last time out, scoring 14 points on six shots.
The Celtics have played two close games, eking out a win over the Blazers after a comeback against the Bucks fell short. Jayson Tatum rebounded from a miserable opener with a huge game against Portland, and it looks like he’s still continuing his midseason breakout. Tatum vs. Jimmy Butler should be a really fun matchup.
In many ways, the Heat feel like a similar but slightly worse version of the Celtics. The Heat are built around an excellent wing with a small scoring guard, a lot of defense, smart and efficient offense, and excellent coaching.
One thing Miami has that Boston can only dream of? An elite young center in Bam Adebayo. But the Celtics are better at almost every other position.
The Heat are also coming into their first back-to-back of the restart, losing to the Raptors on Monday afternoon. It’s a tough ask to play Toronto and Boston on back-to-back days, though Miami’s work rate can hardly be questioned.
Is Miami better on offense or defense? Unless you’ve checked the ratings lately, you’d probably guess defense, but you’d be wrong. Miami has a top-five offense, but it remains to be seen if that translates to a playoff atmosphere. In a tight game against Toronto, sharpshooter Duncan Robinson went missing for most of the second half. Adebayo wasn’t in the mix late, either.
Miami is deep but doesn’t have enough talent to lose some of its better offensive players and still find enough scoring.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This feels like one of those games that will be close late, no matter how the first three and a half quarters go. Both teams play so hard and they’re so evenly matched, with Boston just marginally better.
In the end, Miami could struggle to score well against an elite defense like Boston’s. The Celtics already beat the Heat twice this season, and Miami was 0-4 against Los Angeles teams, two other great defenses.
This probably won’t be a high scoring game, but the total already factors that in.
In the end, I just like Boston better. It’s as simple as that. The Celtics are more talented and more rested, and I trust them to score. This could easily be a one possession game, and while I worry the Heat could play this down to the wire, I’ll take Boston at -3.5 and would probably play them to -4 or -4.5 if needed.
I trust the Celtics to go get a win they need against a tired team.
THE PICK: Celtics -3.5