NBA Playoffs - Game 1
Boston -8 -110 over Miami

Posted at 12:00 PM EST. Odds subject to change.

Pinnacle  -8 -113 BET365 -8 -115 Sportsinteraction -8 -110 888Sport -8 -115

Boston -8 -110 over Miami

8:40 PM EST. We understand why there is a swell of support in the market for the Heat in this series, as the four regular-season meetings between these teams resulted in a split, with each club winning one game on the other team's home floor. The Heat also features the very outspoken Jimmy Butler, who hollered from the hilltops that, "This year is our year. We're going to go into Game 1 and do what we're supposed to do and be the first one to four wins. We are very capable of it." This is the third time in four years that the Heat and Celtics have faced each other in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat took out the Celtics in 2020, while the Celtics won in this matchup last season before falling to Golden State in the Finals.

The Heat have been very good to their backers in these playoffs, posting an 8-3 record Against the Spread (ATS) going back to their Play-In game with the Bulls. As an underdog, Miami is 6-2 ATS, having won five of those games outright. In addition to playing the Bulls in that one-game showdown, the Heat knocked off the #1-seeded Milwaukee in five games and then market darlings, the #5-seeded Knicks, in six games. In short, the Heat have upended the East, and they've cashed at a high clip along the way.

The #2-seeded Celtics side of the bracket fell into place, but the road for Boston to this East final has not been easy. The Celtics went six tough games with the Hawks in Round 1 before going to a full seven with the hated 76ers in Round 2. As purveyors of value, this is where we begin to see that there is value in Boston as a short-priced home favorite. Against the Sixers, the Celtics were favored by -10½ in Game 1 (Joel Embiid was out), -7½ in Game 2, -8 in Game 5, and -6 in Game 7. Say what you want about the failure of Philly to live up to the lofty expectations it had, but there is no shame in losing to the Celtics in seven. Lost in the firing of Doc Rivers and the talking heads wanting to rip Embiid's MVP award is that the Celtics are battle-tested, and they knocked off an elite top-5 team.

All that to say, the Heat are not elite and cannot be priced in the same range that the 76ers were last round. Miami is a bottom-third club that is riding a heater. How long will that hot streak last? Nobody can predict that, but if/when it does, the Heat are going to be exposed. We acknowledge the regular season means less and less as the playoffs go on, but it is not our job to break down the X's and O's. We don't give a shit about what Jimmy Butler's shooting percentage is or that he's perceived to be a premier playoff performer. All that reputation does is artificially inflate the stock price of the Heat. This price suggests that the Heat and the Sixers are equals. That's just not the case. This is a classic "buy low, sell high" situation in which the hometown Celtics are spotting deflated points. Value is value. Swallow the points.



Our Pick

Boston -8 -110 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 1.82)