We are one hour away from potentially the greatest comeback in NBA Playoff history.
In some alternate NBA universe, the Miami Heat swept the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. In another, the Heat took the series in five games. And in another playoff multi-verse, Miami needed six games to drop pesky Boston.
That’s not the case in our wild and twisted universe, where the Heat and Celtics will meet for one final time this season regardless of who comes out on top.
Boston has battled back from a 0-3 hole in the East finals, slapping NBA playoff odds in the face for what they had priced out as an 8% chance of completing the unprecedented comeback. As of Monday afternoon, the Celtics are 7.5-point home favorites and boast a 75% shot at advancing to the NBA Finals, according to the moneyline odds.
Heat vs Celtics Game 7 best odds
Heat vs Celtics Game 7 picks and predictions
Adebayo, who had been an anchor for Miami’s postseason push on both ends of the floor, had his first truly bad game of the playoffs at the worst possible time.
The 6-foot-9 forward went 4-for-16 from the floor and finished with only 11 points in the 104-103 Game 6 loss at home, after shooting 54% and averaging 17.5 points per game during the tournament until that point.
Miami bettors are banking on a return to form from Bam, but NBA odds may be a little more reserved when it comes to his points prop for Game 7. Sportsbooks have Adebayo’s Over/Under at 16.5 points (Over -125).
Player models are much more optimistic and so much so that I can’t ignore an Over on Adebayo’s scoring tonight. All mainstream projections are calling for at least 17.7 points with a number north of 18 and some pegged at 19 points against the Boston Celtics. My number comes in at 18.31 points.
Even in his quieter offensive outings during the Eastern Conference Finals, Adebayo still shot well and got to the charity stripe. He’s averaging 15.3 points for the series and opened the East finals with efforts of 20 and 22 points, with shot totals of 13 and 17, respectively.
Bam was less active on offense through Games 3 and 4 as the Celtics defense showed him more respect, but his field goal attempts are back up the past two outings with totals of 15 and 16 shots in the past two contests.
"Keep shooting the shots that I'm shooting," a resilient Adebayo told the media after his Game 6 struggles. "I've got confidence in myself like no other. For me, it feels like a lid is on the rim, but I've got to figure out how to make that basketball go in."
An insane atmosphere inside TD Garden won’t shake the six-year pro, as he’s upped his output in enemy territory all season. Adebayo averages 20.7 points, going an average of 8-for-15 from the floor in road games. So far in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, he’s putting up 17.8 points on 54.4% success as a visitor.
My best bet: Bam Adebayo Over 16.5 points (-125)
Heat vs Celtics Game 7 same-game parlay
Bam Adebayo Over 16.5 points (-128)
Marcus Smart Under 13.5 points (-102)
Al Horford Over 2.5 assists (-102)
Bam bounces back from a bad Game 6 and comes up big against a slimmer point prop in this do-or-die showdown in Beantown. My number for Adebayo is more than 18 points while some models call for 19.
Going Under on Marcus Smart, who will be a defensive devil in Game 7 but will see his scoring dip. Projections call for 12.5 points which is short of 13.5 and some books are at 14.5 O/U, so shop if you can.
Finally, taking Al Horford to dish out at least three dimes. Most models have three or more from the Celtics forward with my number just short at 2.9 assists. He had only two assists in Game 6 but tallied five and four in the two games prior.
Bonus: if you want a kicker, Kyle Lowry Over 2.5 assists is a nice add-on. He’s projected for more than four dimes with some models posting a ceiling of five. However, this prop isn’t available for all SGP markets just yet.
Not intended for use in MA.
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Heat vs Celtics Game 7 spread and Over/Under analysis
You would think that after six games of head-to-head encounters, the Game 7 spread for the Eastern Conference Finals would be drum tight. However, we’ve seen plenty of movement from the opening odds to early Monday morning.
Following Boston’s 1-point victory in Game 6, the spread hit the board as big as Celtics -8.5 with the team coming back home with all the momentum. That line stayed put for about 30 minutes before early play on the Heat started chipping away.
The line dropped to Boston -8 by midnight Sunday morning and has since slipped to as low as Celtics -7 at most books as of Monday morning. Bettors watched Miami hang around for most of Game 6 despite its worst shooting night, and the Celtics barely held off a fourth-quarter rally on the road for a 104-103 win on a last-second offensive putback from Derrick White.
According to Covers Consensus, 72% of picks are siding with Miami on the road in Game 7. Action at BetMGM books has been even heavier on the Heat, with the sportsbook reporting 81% of bets and 82% of handle taking the points with the underdog Monday night.
Boston has been much better on the defensive end over the past three contests, tightening their vice on Miami’s top stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
The Heat’s complementing talents were shooting extremely well to start the series but have since cooled, and the Celtics have been able to focus energy on slowing down those two standouts. Butler and Adebayo were a collective 9-for-37 from the floor in Game 6, with the Heat making only 35% of their shots as a team.
That improvement on the defensive end has been a boon to Under bettors. After the opening three games of the East final went Over the closing totals of 212, 214, and 214.5 points, the past three games have stayed below numbers of 216, 214.5, and 209 points in Game 6.
The Over/Under total for Game 7 hit the board at a very low 203 points, making it just the fifth total of 205 points or less in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. The previous four short totals (ranging from 205 to 201) have produced a 0-4 Over/Under record, all staying below the closing number.
The pace of the series has also changed dramatically from the opening three games to the last three, with Miami’s 3-0 lead being run at a rating of 97.17 while Boston’s trio of victories came in at 93.3 in terms of tempo.
Early play on the Heat-Celtics Game 7 Over/Under was on the Over and bumped the total up to 203.5 over the weekend, which has peaked to 204 at some shops as of Monday morning.
BetMGM sportsbooks are reporting 75% of bets and 60% of the handle taking the Over in Game 7. Covers Consensus is in line with those splits, as 81% of picks are banking on a higher-scoring finish to this exciting series finale.
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Heat vs Celtics betting trend to know
The Heat are 8-4 SU and 9-3 ATS as underdogs this postseason and 21-16 ATS (57%) when getting the points overall on the entire season (regular, play-in, playoffs). Find more NBA betting trends for Heat vs. Celtics.
Heat vs Celtics Game 7 game info
|Location:||TD Garden, Boston, MA|
|Date:||Monday, May 29, 2023|
|Tip-off:||8:30 p.m. ET|