NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Best Bets for Celtics vs. Heat Game 7 (May 29)

NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Best Bets for Celtics vs. Heat Game 7 (May 29) article feature image

Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics.

  • It's win-or-go-home time for the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
  • Our NBA crew has four bets for Sunday's matchup, including plays on the spread and first half total.
  • Find our experts' picks and predictions based on Celtics vs. Heat odds for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals below.

The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat find themselves one win away from the NBA Finals at the tail end a grueling Eastern Conference finals series.

The Heat held a 2-1 lead after three games, the Celtics went up 3-2 after Game 5. Jimmy Butler's heroics spoiled the party in Boston and increase the pressure in the series to it peak.

Our NBA analysts have four bets ahead of Sunday's winner-take-all matchup in Miami: a play on the spread, first half total and two player props. Check out their in-depth analysis and picks below for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

NBA Odds & Picks

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Celtics vs. Heat Spread
Celtics vs. Heat 1H Total
Jimmy Butler Player Prop
Jayson Tatum Player Prop

Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat

Celtics -2.5
8:30 p.m. ET

Brandon Anderson: The Heat shocked the world with a Game 6 masterclass from Jimmy Butler. Now the East 1-seed returns home and it sure feels like this line must be mispriced, as strong as all the trends are for home teams in Game 7s.

The Heat got 47/9/8 from Butler in 46 minutes on a bum knee, and also got 18/10 from Kyle Lowry on no hamstring. Miami shot 43% on 3s — the Heat are 31-2 when they hit 40% this season and 33-33 when they don't — and got plenty of help from Boston turnovers, a questionable whistle, and constant foul trouble from the three Celtics bigs. Can Miami really do all that in back-to-back games?

Every game is unique, but it's telling that Miami had to have all those things go its way, even still to be tied with Boston at the line and the game still in peril with a few minutes left. It feels like the Heat gave a Game 7 effort, and it's hard to envision getting anything like that from the injured Butler and Lowry again after such a monster effort and now on short rest.

The home team in Game 7 getting points, with the best player in the series and probably the playoffs so far? Perhaps it's just that easy.

I'm going the other way. Boston is the better team and has looked and played better in most facets of the series. The Celtics are scoring far more efficiently but Miami has hung around by scraping out extra possessions via forced turnovers and offensive rebounds, then letting Butler do the rest. The Heat could certainly do that one more time, but I have to trust the better, healthier, deeper team to find a way.

It's been wise to trust Boston after a loss. Over the past four months, while Boston is 37-12 and leads the league in both Offensive and Defensive Rating, the Celtics are an incredible 10-1 both straight up and ATS after a loss.

That includes 5-0 SU and ATS after a playoff loss, covering by 12.1 PPG, and it includes bounce-back wins this series by 25 and 20 over the Heat. Boston can go through real mental lapses and lose itself but after a loss, this team it comes back focused and plays its best game.

But can we really bet on the road team in Game 7?

History says we may need to when the line indicates the road team is better. Since 2003, we've seen eight Game 7s with a home team favored by three or less or an underdog.

Home teams are 2-6 straight up in that spot and an awful 1-7 ATS, failing to cover by 4.7 PPG. When the books admit the road team is better, even home court isn't enough — and the line is typically giving them too much credit.

It's been a wild journey, but I'll take the Celtics to win and cover Game 7 and head to the NBA Finals.

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Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat

Under 95 1H Total

Austin Wang: Game 7: the two sweetest words in basketball.

The tough, gritty, physical Heat embody everything one would expect in a Game 7. The Celtics have shown resiliency throughout the playoffs. They've also got the No. 1-ranked Defensive Rating in the league.

This will be a rock fight. The total opened up at 198 and has been battered down to 195.5, the lowest total of the season. The nerves are high, these teams are so familiar with one another, and they are fatigued. Referees tend to call Game 7s with a tighter whistle and they won't have a combined 56 free throws like they did in Game 6.

Game 7 unders have been prevalent, but diving in further, first half unders in Eastern Conference Game 7s have gone 16-7-2 (69.2%) to the under, per our Bet Labs database. The last eight game 7s have gone under in the first half.

The pace has slowed down the last three games (average of 91 in Games 4-6) and I expect these two top defensive teams to bring their best. My pick is on the under 95 in the first half.

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Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat

Jimmy Butler Over 1.5 Steals

Munaf Manji: Games 4 and 5 of the Eastern Conference finals looked like the series we all expected to watch: two tough, hard nose defenses and games in which points were at a premium.

In Game 6, we saw shot making and free throws were aplenty. However, Game 7 has a total posted by the bookmakers of 195.5. As a result, that would want me to look towards defensive stats and rebounding prop bets.

I've been all over Jimmy Butler's steals props in this series. Butler turned in an offensive performance for the ages in Game 6 with 47 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, but he also had four steals. It was his fourth game in this series where Butler notched two or more steals in a game.

Butler has recorded at least two steals in 12 of his 15 playoff games this season and has at least two steals in six of the eight home games. After coming up huge in with his team's back against the wall in Boston, I expect Butler to be the star in Game 7 and continue his dominance on defense.

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Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat

Jayson Tatum Over 3.5 Turnovers (-145)

Joe Dellera: In a winner take all Game 7 the stars should shine brightest and play as many minutes as they can handle. Jayson Tatum is one of those players.

We’ve seen his Usage Rate hover at nearly 30% this entire series and while he has developed as a facilitator, he is still not the most efficient. For the series he has a 20.3% Turnover Rate, a significant uptick from his 11% Turnover Rate for the season.

This is not entirely surprising considering Miami’s defense is excellent, and with an increase in minutes and volume it’s expected that Tatum would turn the ball over a bit more. As a result, he has turned the ball over at least three times in every game this series and has cleared his current 3.5 line in four of the six games.

Considering Game 7s can be a total grind and often go under their totals it’s tough to bet on offense despite more minutes and volume. So, while many will look to take Tatum’s over on assists, I prefer to bet on his mistakes as a way to capitalize on his volume in a Game 7.

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