Heat vs Celtics Picks and Predictions: Miami Brings the Fire to Boston

The Heat have weathered Kyle Lowry's absence surprisingly well despite a triple-OT loss to the Raptors last time out. As 3.5-point underdogs in Boston on Monday night, we like Miami to bounce back against the inconsistent Celtics in our betting picks.

Rohit Ponnaiya - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Rohit Ponnaiya • Betting Analyst
Jan 31, 2022 • 11:02 ET • 4 min read
Jimmy Butler Miami Heat NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat head to TD Garden to face off against the Boston Celtics on Monday night. The Heat look to stay atop the Eastern Conference standings despite the extended absence of Kyle Lowry while the Celtics are fighting for a playoff spot.

Oddsmakers are expecting a defensive battle between these Eastern Conference foes with NBA betting lines opening with the Over/Under at 209 before ticking down to 208, the lowest total on the board tonight.

Here are our best free NBA betting picks and predictions for Heat vs. Celtics on Monday, January 31 with tipoff at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Editor's Note: This preview was written before Jimmy Butler and P.J. Tucker were ruled out for tonight's contest.

Heat vs Celtics odds

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

The line for this game opened with the Celtics at -3 and the Over/Under at 209. Early money came in on the Celtics and the Under, shifting the line to Boston -3.5 and moving the total to 208. When these teams previously met up on November 4 in Miami, the Celtics won 95-78 as 6.5-point road underdogs. 

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.

Heat vs Celtics predictions

Predictions made on 1/31/2022 at 10:20 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Heat vs Celtics game info

Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Date: Monday, January 31, 2022
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET

Heat vs Celtics betting preview


Heat: Kyle Lowry PG (Out), Markieff Morris PF (Out), Victor Oladipo SG (Out), Chris Silva PF (Out), KZ Okpala SF (Out).
Celtics: Romeo Langford SG (Questionable).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Heat are 13-3 against the spread in their last 16 games as an underdog. Find more NBA betting trends for Heat vs. Celtics.

Heat vs Celtics picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

Spread analysis

The Celtics are fresh off a 107-97 road victory over the Pelicans to climb above the .500 mark with a 26-25 record. It's been an up-and-down season for the Celtics, who are ninth in the league in net rating (plus-2.8) but have struggled with consistency and chemistry.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown continue to be one of the better duos in the league, but Boston doesn't have much scoring help around them and ranks a modest 20th in the league in offensive rating. 

The Heat are coming off a grueling triple-overtime loss to the Raptors on Saturday but are still 5-2 SU (4-3 ATS) in their last seven games. That stretch, which began with a 104-99 win over the Raps on January 17, is a particularly important sample size because Miami has been without All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry over that span and has still played well. 

Lowry has been out due to personal reasons and while Miami has missed his defensive tenacity and playmaking ability, Jimmy Butler has stepped up as a facilitator, racking up at least 10 assists in three of the last seven games. As long as the Heat have Butler (22 points, 6.3 assists, and 6.3 rebounds per game), Bam Adebayo (17.8 ppg, 10.1 rpg), and Tyler Herro (20.3 ppg), they can score and defend at every level. 

The Heat were 6.5-point home favorites when these teams met at practically full strength earlier this season and although the Heat went ice-cold from the floor in that contest, a 10-point swing towards Boston seems way too much — regardless of the change in venue and Lowry's absence.

With the Celtics going 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games as a home favorite and the Heat a sizzling 13-3 ATS in their previous 16 contests as a dog, back Miami with the points. 

Prediction: Heat +3.5 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

These are two of the better defensive teams in the NBA, with the Heat allowing 104.5 ppg (fourth-fewest) and the Celtics allowing 104.8. They also rank near the bottom of the league when it comes to pace. That said, the total of 208 is too low. 

Even without Lowry, the Heat have scored at least 110 points in four straight games and have cashed the Over in each of their last five contests.

Although the Celtics have been an Under machine lately, they don't often see totals this low.  Since December 3, the C's have played in nine games with a total below 212 and the Over has cashed in eight of those contests. 

Prediction: Over 208 (-110)

Best bet

Continuing from the thought process of backing the Heat and the Over, Miami's team total of 102.5 looks extremely tempting. Miami averages 109.1 ppg and while that ranks near the middle of the league, it's still a far higher number than their O/U this evening. 

Gabe Vincent has played well at point guard in Lowry's absence while Butler, Herro, Adebayo, and Duncan Robinson can all stuff the bucket. Keep in mind that Miami is one of the best teams in the NBA on the offensive boards and also connects on a league-best 37.7% of shots from 3-point range.

The Heat play at a slower tempo but rank fifth in the league in offensive rating, which should help them go Over their team total tonight. 

Pick: Heat team total Over 102.5 (-115)

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