Celtics vs Heat Game 7 Picks and Predictions: Depth Delivers Boston to NBA Finals

After a grueling back-and-forth series, we expect Boston's superior depth to ultimately win out on Sunday in Miami. The Celtics have too many weapons and have responded well to losses throughout the postseason. The Heat are toast in our betting picks.

Jason Logan: Senior Betting Analyst at Covers
Jason Logan • Senior Betting Analyst
May 29, 2022 • 17:37 ET • 4 min read

After six crazy contests and a game of hot potato with home court advantage, the Boston Celtics visit the Miami Heat for a deciding Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Bookies have pretty much brought us back to the beginning with the NBA betting odds for Sunday’s decider. Despite not holding the home edge, Boston entered the conference finals as a -180 favorite on the series price. Now, with a single showdown left, the Celtics are -140 road faves to advance to the NBA Finals with Miami a +125 home underdog.

Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for Celtics at Heat on May 29.

Celtics vs Heat Game 7 odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

After losing at home in Game 6, Boston opened as 2.5-point road chalk for Game 7 and climbed to -3 before buyback on Miami slimmed this spread back to the opener. The total opened at 200 points and has since plummeted to 195.5 by the time of this writing.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Celtics vs Heat Game 7 predictions

Predictions made on 5/29/2022 at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Celtics vs Heat Game 7 info

Location: FTX Arena, Miami, FL
Date: Sunday, May 29, 2022
Tip-off: 8:30 p.m. ET

Celtics vs Heat series odds

Celtics: -140
Heat: +125

Celtics vs Heat Game 7 betting preview

Key injuries

Celtics: Marcus Smart G (Questionable), Robert Williams III C (Questionable), Sam Hauser F (Out)
Heat: Tyler Herro G (Probable)
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Celtics are 25-11 straight up and 23-13 against the spread when coming off a loss this season (15-21 O/U). Find more NBA betting trends for Celtics vs. Heat.

Celtics vs Heat Game 7 picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

At this point in the Eastern Conference finals, the Celtics and Heat know each other very well. As do books and bettors. It’s been hard to take any win at face value, especially considering only one game has been decided by fewer than eight points, and home court in this series is worth about as much as a Top Shot NFT of Duncan Robinson.

A Herculean effort from Miami stud Jimmy Butler kept the fires burning in South Beach last time out, with Butler shooting 16-for-29 from the field (4-for-8 from 3-point land) and hitting all 11 free throws for a 47-point performance in Game 6. That explosion offset a dismal night from the rest of the Heat, who were a collective 20-for-49 from the floor (40.8%) and committed 16 turnovers (Butler had only one giveaway).

The Celtics played poorly enough on their own floor so that Butler’s big game didn’t go to waste, but regardless of those errors (17 turnovers as well) and stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown going MIA at times in the second half, Boston still has the biggest advantage as this series stretches to the maximum: depth.

The Celtics simply have a deeper well to draw from than the Heat, as proven in their last Game 7 scenario in the previous round. In the conference semis, Milwaukee was struggling without secondary scorer Khris Middleton and Boston’s bountiful roster pulled points from a bunch of sources in that elimination game, with guys like Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard making up for a lackluster night from key contributors.

Beyond Butler, the Heat have struggled to find that other source of offense — at least in the past few games with Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro sidelined with a groin injury. Bam Adebayo has all the consistency of a game of Plinko, Kyle Lowry is still fighting through a bum hamstring, and Victor Oladipo is unable to find his flow in limited minutes off the bench.

To compound that lack of scoring depth, you’re trying to dig up diamonds against one of the best defenses in the NBA. Boston still owns a sturdy 106.2 advanced defensive rating in this series and the last time these teams played in Miami, the C’s shut it down and limited the Heat to a mere 80 points on 32% success from the field. 

Miami has shown it's capable of winning any game, but Boston brings more to the table for bettors banking on which team will win that ticket to the NBA Finals. 

Prediction: Celtics -2.5 (-110 at PointsBet)

Over/Under analysis

The total for Game 7 plunged from an opener of 200 points all the way down to 195.5 with early action on the Under. This strong move comes despite Game 6 seeing 214 combined points on the board (vs. a total of 202.5) and four of the first six games playing Over the number.

The previous three games have posted a pace rating of 93.17 compared to a tempo of 95.83 in the first three contests, but Game 6 rated out at 96.0. On top of that, the Celtics and Heat combined for 55 free-throw attempts after averaging fewer than 49 over the first five games of the series.

The officiating has been terribly wishy-washy in this series but being that this is a Game 7 with a spot in the Finals on the line, the refs could put their whistles away and let these two defensive-minded clubs crash into each other more than in other games. Boston’s Game 7 matchup with Milwaukee saw just 37 personal fouls and only 34 total shots from the charity stripe.

Neither team has shot the ball that well throughout the conference finals, namely from distance. Boston is making 35% of its looks from 3-point range while Miami is shooting just 31% from deep, with these foes combining for an average of just over 23 triples per game.

The Heat can’t afford to let any of the Celtics superstars get comfortable and Boston will lean on its bread and butter again in this do-or-die spot, so we’re going Under — even with the significant adjustment to the total.

This is the lowest Over/Under of the entire 2022 postseason and the shortest playoff total since the 2017 postseason.

Prediction: Under 195.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

Best bet

When bookies priced out the Celtics as -180 series favorites before the Eastern finals tipped off, they were banking on Boston to steal at least one road game from the higher-seeded Heat. And they did. Then Miami stole it back. 

Two more wins from the road teams led us here, with the C’s installed as slight chalk in South Beach on Sunday, pegged at -140 on the moneyline for Game 7 — a slight discount on that original series price considering there is zero margin for error tonight.

Boston has been right at home on the highway in these playoffs, owning a 6-2 SU record with a 7-1 ATS mark. The Celtics have also shown resiliency while not allowing bad games to snowball into bad series, owning a perfect 5-0 SU and ATS record when coming off a loss this postseason.

Those bounce-back spots have been there for Boston all year, going 25-11 SU and 23-13 ATS when coming off a loss. That record shows just how versatile Ime Udoka’s team is, with multiple ways to win either on the back of this elite defense or lifted up by budding superstars like Tatum. 

Even in a postseason marred by blowouts, we’re still going to be cautious of a close Game 7 contest and side with the Celtics to win outright at -140.

Pick: Celtics moneyline (-140 at PointsBet)

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