Heat vs. Celtics NBA Odds & Pick: Bet Miami On the Moneyline (May 9)
Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler Herro.
- Boston and Miami meet with the Heat one game ahead of the home team for the sixth seed in the East.
- Boston was blown on Friday by the Bulls and has been struggling in the final part of the regular season.
- Roberto Arguello likes Miami to maintain their status above Boston in the standings.
Heat vs. Celtics Odds
|Moneyline||-108 / -108|
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
The Celtics host the Heat Sunday afternoon in the second meeting of the season between these teams. The Heat sit a game ahead of the Celtics for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, but these teams will play each other in their next two games with major seeding implications. The Celtics won the first matchup 107-105 in January.
The Heat have won four of their last five games after beating the Timberwolves on Friday in Miami. The Celtics are coming off of one of their worst performances of the season in Friday’s 121-99 blowout loss to the Bulls in which Jayson Tatum scored just nine points on 3-of-15 shooting from the field.
If the Heat win and cover as road favorites, they will need Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro to play well off the bench while Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo play aggressively on offense. Andre Iguodala (right thigh contusion) is questionable to play Sunday while Victor Oladipo (knee) remains out.
The Heat’s starting lineups have consistently played well this season despite a myriad of different lineups, but the Heat’s bench has been less than ideal. Dragic and Herro were two key players off the bench who played significant roles in the Heat’s Eastern Conference finals win over the Celtics last season but have both been plagued by injuries this season.
Dragic’s playmaking will be key in elevating the players around him like Dewayne Dedmon (who has been an impactful and impressive midseason pickup for the Heat). Herro’s shooting will be key, especially if sharpshooting Duncan Robinson goes cold or gets in foul trouble.
Jimmy Butler tonight:
He is quietly averaging 22/7/7 and leads the NBA in steals this season. pic.twitter.com/zb1RhlPeP0
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 8, 2021
Butler and Adebayo need to be assertive offensively, as they sometimes have a tendency to play passively or pass too much when they have decent shot attempts available.
While they have their shooting limitations, both are at their best when they can consistently drive to the bucket and make plays for others when the defense collapses. The Celtics won’t have anyone who can guard them if they play aggressively, especially if Jaylen Brown remains out.
If the Celtics win and cover, they will need Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum to play at a high level while shooters step up. Jaylen Brown (ankle) is questionable to play Sunda,y while Robert Williams III (toe) is probable.
After missing four games with an oblique injury, Walker returned to action in the last two games and made his impact felt as he scored 32 and 33 points, making six threes in each game. The Celtics struggled without him, covering in just one of the four games and lost outright to a Thunder team that had lost its previous 14 games.
When Walker is healthy, he raises the ceiling for the Celtics. This will be more important than normal on Sunday with Brown questionable as secondary scorers will need to step up. The Heat allow the most three-point attempts in the NBA (43.1% of opponent shots), so if Walker can make threes and set his teammates up with open looks after collapsing the Heat defense, the Celtics will have a great chance of winning.
Jayson Tatum is reaching the point every offensive superstar reaches where he has a counter to almost everything and looks in total control with the ball in his hands. pic.twitter.com/4ZwWUH5naY
— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) May 7, 2021
Tatum continues to impress as he improves his all-around game with more moves to get to the basket while making strides as a distributor. Tatum is the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, as he scored 33, 60 and 35 points last week, while recording at least five assists and shooting 52% or better from the field in all three games.
Tatum’s shooting and playmaking will be key, as will how well Evan Fournier plays. After making just four of his 21 three-point attempts in his first five games since returning from a bout with COVID-19, Fournier has made 10 of 16 3s in the last three games for the Celtics. At least two of Fournier, Marcus Smart and Payton Pritchard will need to shoot efficiently from beyond the arc for the Celtics to win on Sunday.
With Brown unlikely to play, the value is on the Heat. Dragic and Herro are back healthy to anchor the Heat’s bench lineups that have been the team’s biggest weakness this season.
The Heat have gotten quality play from key roles players like Kendrick Nunn, Ariza, Robinson and Dedmon down the stretch, and I expect their deeper team to step up as Butler and Adebayo play aggressively. The Celtics’ shooters will need to step up to beat the Heat, but the Heat are the more talented and deeper team that is playing better basketball.
I like the value on the Heat to win outright at +104 on FanDuel (with value down to -115). I also love the value of waiting to bet the Heat on the live moneyline at +130 or better in what should be a competitive game with lead changes.
Pick: Heat to win outright +104 (bet down to -115)