Celtics to crush Heat in Game 2 and even up Eastern Conference Finals

  • Go to BetOnline or Bovada for the latest odds on the Celtics vs Heat matchup
  • Jimmy Butler has 11 consecutive playoff games with at least 25 points
  • TNT airs Game 2 from TD Bank Garden in Boston on Friday, May 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET

“GOOD…OH JIMMY FRICKIN BUTLER PUTS IT IN!” shouted TNT announcer Kevin Harlan after Miami’s star guard clinched Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals with a 3-point dagger. “Playoff Jimmy” finished with a game-high 35 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and incredible six steals.

The Celtics came unglued in the third quarter of Wednesday’s 123-116 loss, allowing the Heat to score 46 points and erase a 12-point deficit. Can Boston rebound on Friday? Before we look at the opening line for Game 2, check out the latest 2023 NBA Playoff Betting Odds and our guide to betting on NBA basketball.

Celtics vs Heat – Game 2

BetOnline ReviewSpreadMoney LineTotal Points
Miami Heat+9.0 (-110)+310Ov 216 (-107)
Boston Celtics-9.0 (-110)-380Un 216 (-113)

Miami draws first blood

Following their Game 1 loss, Boston is now just 11-11 at home in the playoffs over the last three years. Jayson Tatum followed up a 51-point performance in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals with 30 points. However, the Celtics star failed to take even one shot in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s loss. He also committed costly turnovers down the stretch and was called for travelling.

In stark contrast, Jimmy Butler completely took over Game 1. The 33-year-old became just the fifth player in NBA history to record multiple career 30-point, five-rebound, five-assists, five-steal playoff games, joining Jordan (8), Iverson (3), Westbrook (3) and Rick Barry (2).

Heat’s role players step up

The Heat are just the second No. 8 seed in NBA history to make the conference finals. They also became just the fifth team to open with road victories in each of their first three series. Key to their success on Wednesday were their role players and three-point shooting.

Miami went 16 of 31 from beyond the arc with Kyle Lowry, Caleb Martin, Gabe Vincent and Max Strus each scoring 15 points. Bam Adebayo also put up 20 points with eight boards.

Boston CelticsTo Win Series 4-3
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Miami HeatTo Win Series 4-2
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Boston vs Miami

Boston is a 9-point home favorite on Friday night. Despite their postseason struggles at home, they haven’t lost two-in-a-row at TD Bank Garden since last year’s NBA Finals to Golden State. The Heat also dropped Game 2 in both the Bucks and Knicks series this postseason. That indicates that Erik Spoelstra’s club could be satisfied with the split.

The Game 2 over-under is set at 216 points after the two clubs exploded for 239 in the opener. That checks out as the Celtics shouldn’t be expected to allow 46 points in a single quarter again.

Best Bet

Oddsmakers made the Heat a +400 underdog in the series before it began and you can still get them at almost 2 to 1 odds (+183). However, Boston in 7 (+260) and Boston in 6 (+300) are viewed as the most likely outcomes with Heat in 6 (+550) and Heat in 7 (+550) still available at long odds.

While we picked Jimmy Butler’s boys to cover in Game 1, we like Boston to rebound at home in Game 2 and get the split. Look for the Celtics to cover the nine points and even up the best-of-seven series.

Boston CelticsTo Cover vs Miami
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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.