The Eastern Conference Finals swings back to South Beach for Game 6 with the Miami Heat looking to eliminate the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are aiming to become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-0 deficit and after winning the last two contests by double digits are now slim +115 underdogs to advance to the Finals.
NBA betting lines opened with the Heat as slim 2.5-point home underdogs for Saturday with the Over/Under at 210.5. Here are my best free Celtics vs. Heat NBA picks and predictions for Game 6 on May 27.
For even more great analysis and bets, check out our Celtics vs. Heat Game 6 player prop picks!
Heat vs Celtics Game 6 best odds
Heat vs Celtics Game 6 picks and predictions
The Heat got off to a terrible start in Game 5 at TD Garden, with the Celtics jumping out to a 20-5 lead. With this series back in Miami for Game 6, I'm expecting a much better start from the Heat, who will be heavily motivated to avoid heading back to Boston for a series-deciding Game 7.
This is a Miami side that has generally played well at home, going 6-1 with a net rating of +9.8 during the postseason. Although they let Game 4 in Miami get away from them during the second half, that was a massive letdown spot due to their three-game cushion.
Although Jimmy Butler has been held in check in two of the last three contests, I have a tough time seeing him shut down again. Meanwhile, Boston's torrid 3-point shooting over the last two games is also due for regression.
The Heat know what adjustments they need to make to get a victory tonight and it isn't rocket science. Get Bam Adebayo more involved, cut down on turnovers (11 in the first half on Thursday leading to easy transition buckets for Boston), get to the free-throw line more often (only 10 attempts in Game 5), and defend the arc better.
Miami's lack of depth could be exposed down the stretch again, but it's less likely to hurt the Heat during the opening frame. Give me the Heat to come out fired up in the first quarter and build an early lead.
My best bet: Heat first quarter moneyline (+115 at bet365)
Heat vs Celtics Game 6 same-game parlay
Heat first-quarter winner (+110)
Caleb Martin Over 13.5 points (+102)
Derrick White Under 2.5 assists (-142)
Jaylen Brown Under 22.5 points (-104)
Heat have been far too reliant on Butler to do everything on both ends of the floor, but Caleb Martin has emerged as a solid scoring option and has dropped at least 14 points in each game this series.
Derrick White has seen his role increase with Malcolm Brogdon hampered by a partially torn tendon in his elbow. Despite that uptick in playing time, White continues to be less of a facilitator and more of a spot-up shooter on the outside. He logged 37 minutes on Thursday but had just one assist. That's the 11th consecutive game that he has gone below this number, and he's averaging just 1.0 apg during that span.
Jaylen Brown played well on Thursday, dropping 21 points on 9-18 shooting. However, he still went Under his points total for the fifth time this series and is averaging a modest 17.6 ppg on 41.1% shooting during the ECF.
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Heat vs Celtics Game 6 spread and Over/Under analysis
The Celtics were 1-point underdogs when they previously went down to Miami for Game 4, but are now 3-point faves after beating the Heat in convincing fashion in back-to-back contests.
The Celtics went on a 29-10 run in the third quarter to pull away from the Heat in Game 4. They jumped out to a 20-5 lead at the start of Game 5 and never let the Heat back into the game, holding on for a 110-97 victory as 8-point home faves.
While no team in NBA history has ever climbed back from a 3-0 deficit, three teams have pushed it to seven games. It's also worth noting that typically when a team gets up 3-0 on another side it's because they are significantly better while the No. 1 seeded Celtics were -500 faves at the start of this series against the eighth-seeded Heat.
Matter of fact, the Celtics still have better NBA championship odds due to a combination of both liability and the perception that they have a better chance of beating Denver in the Finals.
The first three games in this series cashed the Over, but the last two contests saw a much slower pace and went below the total. Oddsmakers are expecting another slow-paced, defensive-minded elimination game with the O/U sitting at 210.5, the lowest of the series.
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Heat vs Celtics betting trend to know
The Heat are 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games versus a team with a road winning percentage greater than .600. Find more NBA betting trends for Heat vs. Celtics.
Heat vs Celtics Game 6 game info
|Location:||Kaseya Center, Miami, FL|
|Date:||Saturday, May 27, 2023|
|Tip-off:||8:30 p.m. ET|