NBA Eastern Conference finals: Heat vs. Celtics odds, picks, prediction, Game 3 bets from expert on 21-11 roll

The 2022 Eastern Conference finals changes venue for the first time on Saturday evening. TD Garden hosts Game 3 between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat in front of a raucous crowd. The Celtics and Heat are tied at 1-1 in this 2022 NBA playoff series after Boston picked up a 25-point victory in Game 2 on Thursday. Kyle Lowry (hamstring), P.J. Tucker (knee), Gabe Vincent (hamstring), and Max Strus (hamstring) are listed as questionable for the Heat, with the Celtics reporting no major injuries.

Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET in Boston. Caesars Sportsbook lists Boston as the 6.5-point home favorite, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 207.5 in the latest Celtics vs. Heat odds. Before making any Heat vs. Celtics picks or NBA playoff predictions, you need to see what SportsLine expert Zack Cimini has to say.

A Las Vegas handicapper who’s never afraid to buck conventional wisdom, Cimini excels in multiple sports. Over the past 32 NBA picks, Cimini is 21-11, returning $890 to $100 players. He is also on an amazing 32-16-1 run with his last 49 against-the-spread picks involving the Celtics, returning $1,448 to $100 players.

Now, Cimini has set his sights on Heat vs. Celtics, and just locked in his picks and NBA playoff predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see his picks. Now, here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Celtics vs. Heat:

  • Heat vs. Celtics spread: Celtics -6.5 
  • Heat vs. Celtics over-under: 207.5 points 
  • Heat vs. Celtics money line: Celtics -270, Heat +220 
  • Heat vs. Celtics tickets: See tickets at StubHub
  • MIA: The Heat are 8-5 against the spread in playoff games 
  • BOS: The Celtics are 9-4 against the spread in playoff games

Featured Game | Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat

Why the Heat can cover

Miami has two-way strengths that are on display during the 2022 NBA playoffs. The Heat are scoring 115.2 points per 100 possessions in the first two games of the series, and are putting up 114.5 points per 100 possessions in the full postseason. Miami boasts an impressive 31.6 percent offensive rebound rate in the playoffs, while shooting 46.4 percent from the floor and 80.5 percent from the free throw line. Jimmy Butler is the centerpiece of Miami’s success on both ends, with top-flight defense and impressive offensive production. Butler is averaging 29.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game in the playoffs, including 35.0 points per game on 62.2 percent shooting against the Celtics. 

On defense, Miami ranked No. 4 in the league in defensive rating during the regular season, and the Heat led the NBA in points allowed in the paint. The Heat are giving up 1.07 points per possession in the playoffs with a 75.3 percent defensive rebound rate and opponents shooting only 44.8 percent from the field. Miami is also forcing 15.2 turnovers per game while allowing only 20.0 assists per game, and the Heat are limiting opponents to only 38.3 points in the paint per contest.

Why the Celtics can cover

Boston led the NBA in defensive efficiency this season, and the Celtics are giving up fewer than 1.07 points per possession in the playoffs. That side of the floor is an unquestioned strength for the Celtics, and Boston’s offense is in a groove in the postseason. Boston is scoring 121.2 points per 100 possessions in the series against Miami, posting a 62.5 percent true shooting mark with a 29.2 percent offensive rebound rate. The Celtics are also putting up almost 1.14 points per possession across the full postseason, converting 37.7 percent of three-point attempts on the way to a 58.5 percent true shooting mark. 

Boston is shooting 80.8 percent from the free throw line in the playoffs, and  producing 25.1 assists per game. Boston is averaging 1.91 assists for every turnover, and the Celtics are assisting on more than 65 percent of field goals. The Celtics also have two elite scorers in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, with Tatum averaging 28.2 points and 6.0 assists in the playoffs and Brown shooting 53.3 percent from three-point range in the series against Miami.

How to make Heat vs. Celtics picks

For Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Cimini is leaning under on the point total, but he also says a critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back. He’s only sharing what it is, and which side of the Heat vs. Celtics spread to back, at SportsLine.

So who wins Heat vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Heat vs. Celtics spread you need to jump on Saturday, all from the expert who has crushed his NBA picks, and find out. 

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