Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics take on Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday. The Heat are looking to take a 3-0 series lead, with the Celtics aiming to avoid a third consecutive loss in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. The Heat list Andre Iguodala (back) as probable to play in Game 3. Gordon Hayward (ankle) is listed as questionable to play for Boston and could be a game-time call, with Romeo Langford (adductor) ruled out and Javonte Green (knee) listed as probable.
The latest Celtics vs. Heat odds from William Hill list Boston as the three-point favorite. The over-under for total points expected is 207.5, up a point from the opening line. Before making any Heat vs. Celtics picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it's already returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 61-33 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,500 on those picks alone. It's also a sizzling 11-3 on top-rated picks since the NBA's restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Celtics vs. Heat spread: Celtics -3
- Celtics vs. Heat over-under: 207.5 points
- Celtics vs. Heat money line: Celtics -160, Heat +140
- BOS: The Celtics are 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 games
- MIA: The Heat are 9-1 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Celtics can cover
Though Boston has struggled at times in this series, the Celtics still have three star-level offensive creators to provide optimism. Tatum leads the way with 25.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game in the playoffs, with Jaylen Brown adding 20.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game and Kemba Walker providing 19.8 points and 5.2 assists per contest. Boston finished with the No. 4 offense in the NBA during the regular season, including top-six marks in turnover avoidance and offensive rebounding, and the Celtics are No. 4 in the postseason in free-throw generation.
Defensively, Boston remains elite, boasting the No. 1 defense in the playoffs on a per-possession basis. The Celtics lead the playoffs in effective field-goal percentage allowed, including top in marks in field-goal percentage allowed (41.3 percent) and 3-point percentage allowed (31.7 percent). Boston does not have a traditionally dominant rim protector, but the Celtics also rank fourth in blocks per game (5.2) and they should be properly motivated in a must-win setting.
Why the Heat can cover
The Heat are led by a pair of stars in Butler and Bam Adebayo. Butler is averaging 20.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game in the postseason, with Adebayo adding 16.8 points, 11.0 rebounds and a team-leading 5.1 assists per game. However, Miami is also receiving star-like contributions from Goran Dragic, with the veteran guard averaging 22.2 points and 4.6 assists per game in the playoffs.
The Heat also rank in the top-three in both assist rate and assist-to-turnover ratio in the playoffs, with top-five marks in shooting efficiency and offensive rebounding. Defensively, Miami is also stellar, ranking fourth in steals per game, fourth in second-chance points allowed and fifth in defensive rebound rate in the playoffs.
How to make Celtics vs. Heat picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with Tatum and Dragic both projected to outperform their season-long scoring averages. It also says one side of the spread hits in more than 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Heat vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread hits more than 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Celtics vs. Heat spread to jump on, all from the advanced computer model that is up over $5,000 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.