Heat to cover against Celtics in closely-contested Game 1 on Wednesday

  • Go to BetOnline or Bovada for the latest odds on the Celtics vs Heat matchup
  • Jimmy Butler’s 31.1 points per game leads all remaining players in the postseason
  • TNT airs Game 1 from TD Bank Garden in Boston on Wednesday, May 18 at 8:30 p.m. ET

Boston and Miami are squaring off in the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in four seasons. Will Jayson Tatum and the Celtics advance to their second-consecutive NBA Finals or will Jimmy Butler and the Heat score yet another upset this postseason?

Before we look at the opening line for Game 1 on Wednesday, check out the latest 2023 NBA Playoff Betting Odds and our guide to betting on NBA basketball.

Celtics vs Heat – Game 1

BetOnline ReviewSpreadMoney LineTotal Points
Miami Heat+8.0 (-105)+295Ov 210.5 (-113)
Boston Celtics-8.0 (-115)-365Un 210.5 (-107)

Series preview

Boston is heavy chalk (-525) to win the best-of-seven series over Miami (+420). The Celtics posted the second-best record in basketball this season (57-25), but the Heat already took out Milwaukee (58-24), the NBA’s best team, in the first round. Not only did these two teams split their four matchups in 2022/23, they’re 13-13 against each other (regular season and playoffs combined) over the past four years.

Erik Spoelstra’s club defeated Boston in six games in 2020 before suffering a heart-breaking 100-96 home loss in Game 7 last year. Jimmy Butler missed a pull-up three-pointer with 16.6 seconds to play, and the Celtics advanced to the NBA Finals.

Tatum vs Butler

Jayson Tatum and Jimmy Butler have enjoyed incredible playoff runs. The Celtics star scored 51 points in Boston’s 112-88 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday (the most in a Game 7 in history) and is now averaging 28.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists this postseason.

Butler’s average of 31.1 points per game leads all remaining players in the playoffs. He’s accomplished something that LeBron James and Dwayne Wade couldn’t even do, becoming the first player in Heat franchise history to average at least 30 points through his first 10 games of a postseason.

Boston CelticsTo Win Series
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Miami HeatTo Win Series
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Boston vs Miami

Boston is an 8-point home favorite on Wednesday night with the over-under set at 210.5. The Celtics are just 8-9 at TD Bank Garden over their last 17 home playoff games, however, they’re coming off a dominant Game 7 win over Philadelphia.

Miami is only the second No. 8 seed in NBA history to reach the conference finals. They’ll be without both Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo this series, and Butler has seemingly lost a step. Since injuring his ankle in Game 1 against the Knicks, the 33-year old is averaging 24.5 points while hitting only 1-of-8 three-pointers. While that’s not bad, it’s a far cry from his 56, 42, and 35-point efforts this postseason.

Best Bet

Bam Adebayo averaged 25 points against the Celtics in their four regular-season battles while bringing his usual energy to the defensive end. With the Heat missing key contributors, his play will be crucial to keeping the series close.

While we like the Celtics to win this Eastern Conference Finals matchup, it will be a closer series than most seem to think. Take the Heat to cover the +8 points with the UNDER (210.5).  

Miami HeatTo Cover vs Boston
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Steve Starr

Steve is the quintessential American sports enthusiast. He has mastered the art of Sundays, devoting them to football, and barbecue parties. He proudly wears the hats of a good father, husband and a great dog owner. Aside from his decades of contributing to different top-tier sports publications, Steve has also found his niche on Twitter, where he publishes funny and relatable sports-related insights. When he's not busy tweeting, Steve loves to watch each game unfold live. He possesses an innate talent for finding humor in the sports world, appreciating both the thrilling moments and the comedic mishaps that make each event unique.