2 Ways to Bet on Boston in Friday’s Closing Game (May 27)

Heat vs. Celtics Odds

Heat Ratings +8.5
Celtics odds -8.5
More less 201
Time 8:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds via Caesars. Keep up to date NBA odds here.

A series doesn’t have to be pretty, or even enjoyable, to be profitable. That’s the great thing about betting.

And that’s a good thing, too, because the Eastern Conference Finals series between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics was disgusting. Blowouts and injuries dominate the conversation as the Celtics look to knock Miami out of Boston in Game 6.

Let’s bet Heat-Celtics.

Hindered heat lacks adjustments

Max Strus, PJ Tucker and Gabe Vincent have been questionable over the past six games. They played all six games. Tyler Herro is questionable, he didn’t play the last game after having been for Game 5.

So while the Heat have those five players, plus Kyle Lowry, listed as questionable, it doesn’t really mean the same thing.

Strus had to leave Game 5 before returning. Lowry is an absolute shell of himself while dealing with a hamstring injury he is trying to play off. Jimmy Butler isn’t even on the injury report, despite clearly not being healthy.

Herro is vital to any chance for the Heat, but honestly, Herro has struggled since the first half of Game 1. Since then, he has only 22 points in 53 minutes. Boston stopped playing him and pretty much cut the water.

Miami’s offense is outclassed here, whether it’s because of injuries, personnel, or Boston’s incredible defense. The reason is irrelevant. What matters is that Miami is only scoring 84 points per 100 half-court possessions since Game 1. It’s the worst basketball of the early 2000s.

The Heat even looked in Game 5. Miami generated more uncontested and lightly contested shots than the Celtics. However, Miami only shot 13 of 39 on such shots. Once the Celtics stopped turning the ball over, Miami was sunk.

Miami has a 91.4 offensive rating with Max Strus, its two starting guards, on the ground. He has a 93.8 offensive rating with Kyle Lowry on the ground. If Gabe Vincent doesn’t make things happen, no one else will. Reread this sentence.

Miami’s defense suffered and the Celtics opened the game in the second half before.

Tactical tweaks won’t matter much if Jimmy Butler, who has had three rare bad games in a row, can’t be healthy enough to impact anything. All the brilliance, know-how, mental toughness and training experience doesn’t matter if your body isn’t physically capable of getting you to score buckets.

It’s possible that Miami will find an outlier in Game 6. This streak has been a little wonky in many ways.

But betting on it seems unlikely.


Boston defense smothers the heat

Marcus Smart and Robert Williams are both listed as questionable but both played the last game and should be good to go.

Boston’s offense has been good against the Heat’s defense, but they’re still 2-3 on their team’s total in this series. The Celtics did not exceed market projections, including going 0-3 in the last three games.

Boston feels like it’s playing a great offense, but in reality, the Celtics are shooting 35 percent from three in this series with an offensive rating of 113 good not great. However, their defense is spectacular, leaving no gaps, no breakdowns and no constant fights.

The Celtics show up and show the Heat that they’re the best defensive team in the league — just like they were in the regular season — and the Heat just don’t have the guns to pressure the Celtics without Boston does not return the ball.

Heat-Celtics pick

Despite the explosive nature of this series, I still can’t take the Celtics -9. That’s just too many points against the No. 1 seed who has won two games in this series. Miami has looked worse and worse, while Boston has been better and better over the past four games. But at the end of the day, I don’t want to put in close to double digits, even at home.

I also have no interest in taking over this broken Heat team this season.

So let’s see how to bypass the propagation.

The Game 6 favorites at home to 3-2 are 17-22 ATS in the first half. But once you get out of the first round, where the teams are much less reliable, the home favorites from Game 6 up to 3-2 are 10-6 ATS.

So let’s take a few points on both the total number of games and the number of halves. Celtics 1st half -4.5, plus full game Celtics -4.5 is -107 and that’s close enough to take it. If you want a lean, grab Celtics or nothing for the full game broadcast.

Lean: Celtics -9
Take: Celtics alternate line 1H -4.5, Celtics full game -4.5 same-game parlay (-107)