Heath vs. Celtics Match 7 Best Bets: Why Boston Will Reach the NBA Finals Despite Miami’s Home Advantage

With the regular season of the NBA 2021-22 already in the books, the basketball betting market is hotter than ever. CBS Sports will provide daily elections for the duration of the postseason. Sam Quinn will make at least one choice for every game between now and the NBA Finals. All lines are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Presented game | Miami Heath vs. Boston Celtics

I am agonizing about this choice from the end of game 6. Boston was undoubtedly the “better” team in this series. The Celtics overtook Heath 33 points in six games. Their seasonal experience is also more impressive. Their second-round victory over Bucks surpassed anything Miami did in the first two rounds, and after starting the regular season 23-24, they finished 28-7 with a net rating of plus-15.5. The heat in the same period was much more modest plus 4.5. There is a reason the prevailing consensus that comes in this series is that Boston will win.

Still, the hosts win approximately 80 percent of match 7. Should this matter in a series where the hosts are 2-4? Perhaps? It is also worth asking how ready we should be to drop the seasonal sample in the case of Miami, because it exceeded expectations in two of the last three postseasons. Heat may just be better suited for playoff basketball than for regular season basketball. They also keep this series close, although they have dealt with much worse injuries than Boston. Heat look healthier now than they were at the time of their losses in Games 4 and 5. They are definitely not in full force. Make it what you want. You get points when you take Heat. Game 7 is often close.

I ended up in Boston for several reasons:

  • Like Seth Partnow pointed out on Twitter, Miami has just had one of the biggest late-hour shots of all time. They had an effective flight goal of 61.4 in the last four seconds of the strike clock. That’s an increase of 36.4 percent for the rest of the postseason, and 16 percent of their shots come in the last four seconds. If Heat makes the shots he did in Game 6, they will win. This is a sample for one game. Another hot night is not out of the realm of possibilities. But it was a huge departure from a performance. Defenses will usually do quite well when they can run out of hours to strike at 16 percent possession.
  • The Celtics have a remarkable ability for nonsense. The turnaround, unfortunately, just has to be expected at this point. But will Marcus Smart really lead Boston in a 7-goal goal attempt? Will six of his seven best players commit at least four fouls? If Boston could just get out of the way, there should be a much easier time in Game 7. That happened in the win.
  • Miami’s injuries are far more significant than Boston’s, and it’s fair to wonder how hard Game 6 really is. Jimmy Butler played 46 minutes after three games with injuries. Remember when he scored 35 to heroically extend the 2020 finals in Game 5? Well … he scored 12 in Game 6, end of the series. He now has five games with 35 points this postseason. In matches immediately after the first four, he averaged a modest 21.8 points per game. It will be difficult to ask an injured Butler to match his performance in Game 6, but it may be necessary. The unnamed Heat players Butler scored just 64 points in Game 6. Of those 64, 18 came from Kyle Lowry, who played 37 minutes after averaging just 25 in the first three games of this series in which he played. How will his hamstring cope with this load? Having Tyler Hero would help offensively … but at this point he would probably do more harm than good. Even healthy, he must contribute so much to the attack to justify his poor defense. Is this possible even with a major trauma to the groin? Will his presence simply give the Celtics a hunting goal on the other side? There are no good answers here. Maybe the Heat are so tough that they can eradicate it for another game. I just want a lot.

So, after being burned in Game 6, I reluctantly take the Celtics and hope for the best. The choice: Celtics -3

I am covered by the game 7 points in total beforeso to be brief, they almost always have a very low score. Pay attention to the nerves of Game 7, the defenses that better understand what violations are committed, pure exhaustion, whatever, but I will always take into account, because, as I wrote in more detail here, the numbers show that usually is going to hit. Choice: Under 195.5

In his last four games, PJ Tucker has averaged just under 17 combined points, rebounds and assists per game. Remember, this includes a failure in Game 4, in which he only plays for 21 minutes. Assuming he doesn’t run into a foul, he’ll play a lot more in Game 7, including a few minutes from the reserve center, who are ripe for rebound opportunities. Look at the line like this: Say Tucker makes one corner 3-pointer and another of those little floats he loved throughout the postseason. He has had at least one assist in his last seven playoff games, so you will only need seven rebounds to guarantee victory, provided he does not accumulate more points or assists. There are too many ways to win this bet to take the floor. Choice: Tucker over 13.5 combined points, rebounds and assists

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