Just copy and paste the third quarter, at least that is the plan in Miami for Jimmy Butler and the Heat. After sliding past Boston to open up the series, Miami looks to extend its lead tonight at home. Still down Kyle Lowry, the Heat expect both Max Strus and Gabe Vincent to play through hamstring injuries. The Heat needed two giant runs to eliminate Boston’s lead and ultimately win the game. Butler led the way with 41 points and nine rebounds.
Jayson Tatum saw six of his seven turnovers come in the second half as Boston fell apart. The big story for the Celtics before Game 1 was not having Al Horford and Marcus Smart, the former with COVID and the latter with a foot injury. Both are expected to suit up and return to the starting lineup, but Boston will not have Derrick White as he anticipates the birth of his first child. The Celtics had just one day between their Game 7 victory over Milwaukee and their Game 1 defeat in Miami.
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Celtics vs. Heat Point Spread +/- 3.5
The Celtics were so bad in the second half that it is hard to think the Heat will put the clamp down in a similar fashion. Boston succumbed to a 17-3 and 22-2 run in the second half of Game 1 and Tatum was a prime culprit. The expectation is that Boston will simply play better on offense with the return of Smart and Horford and present a tougher matchup for Miami’s guards, who shot well from the floor and from 3. Miami has proven to be a tough out at home but it still needed to come from behind, powered by two huge runs that are less likely to happen again. Butler may provide another offensive spark, but the Heat still struggled for half of the game with consistent scoring against Boston’s defense. The Celtics may not even up the series, but taking 3.5 points means they do not have to win.
Best Bet Today: Boston +3.5 Points (-110 BetMGM)
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Bam Adebayo O/U 8.5 Rebounds
The Heat have an advantage with Bam Adebayo staying on the glass and out of foul trouble. The first game of the series saw Boston do enough to limit the Heat big man to just four rebounds on the night. Awesemo expects a healthy bounce back, primed for 10 rebounds, according to Awesemo’s free projections. OddsShopper sees a 67% xWin chance of this prop going over as the projection is 1.5 more rebounds than the total. There is a 30%xROI on hitting this play as Adebayo should have an easier path to the glass, especially with fewer fouls.
The good news is you do not have to count on Adebayo grabbing any rebounds to win money on BetMGM. There is FREE money at BetMGM and all you have to do is bet $10 to win $200 if either the Celtics or Heat hit just one 3-pointer tonight.
Best Prop Bet Today: Bam Adebayo OVER 8.5 Rebounds (-115 BetMGM)
Jimmy Butler O/U 26.5 Points
Miami needed every ounce of effort from Butler to mount its successful comeback and there is some expectation he will regress back to the mean. Awesemo projects a little lighter workload from Butler, at least scoring, with a free projection of 24 points for the Heat star. Boston will certainly increase its focus on slowing down Butler, and OddsShopper sees a 62%xWin chance of Butler staying under his point total.
Best Prop Bet Today: Jimmy Butler UNDER 26.5 Points (-125 BetMGM)
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Marcus Smart O/U 6.5 Assists
The return of the Defensive Player of the Year will not transfer over to much facilitation, meaning do not expect Smart to come back and go crazy with assists. Smart will need to get some shots up and increase the defensive pressure on Miami, as Boston does not need Smart to be a true facilitator. Awesemo has Smart projected for 5.8 assists on the night, combined with OddsShopper having a 64% xWin chance of staying under his total.
Best Prop Bet Today: Marcus Smart UNDER 6.5 Assists (-145 BetMGM)
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