The 2020 NBA Playoffs continue on Friday with Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics inside the NBA bubble in Orlando. The Heat lead the series 3-1 after an epic performance from 20-year-old Tyler Herro in Game 4 on Wednesday. Herro is the youngest player remaining in the postseason, but he took over with a game-high 37 points and Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo all joined him with at least 20 points in the 112-109 victory.
However, despite Miami's scoring depth and ability to get stops late throughout the series, Boston is a 3.5-point favorite with the total set at 213.5 in the Celtics vs. Heat odds from William Hill. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET. 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 -3.5
- Celtics vs. Heat over-under: 213.5 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 8-2 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Celtics can cover
The Celtics are in a desperate position, but they have the talent and pedigree to bounce back. Boston is the No. 2 defensive team in the playoffs, allowing only 1.05 points per possession, and the Celtics lead the postseason in shooting efficiency allowed to their opponents. Brad Stevens' team is also very strong in specific defensive situations, allowing only 9.7 fast-break points and 38.7 points in the paint per game.
Boston is known for its perimeter defense, but the Celtics are also protecting the rim well in the playoffs, ranking fourth in the NBA in blocking 5.1 shots per game. Offensively, the Celtics have a ton of firepower, headlined by 25.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for Jayson Tatum in the playoffs. Boston ranks in the top five in free-throw rate, and it has multiple scoring options to assist Tatum, including Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward.
Why the Heat can cover
After going just 3-5 during the regular-season portion of the NBA bubble, the Heat have been absolutely dominant in the postseason, winning 11 of 13 games against the Pacers, Bucks and now the Celtics. The Heat have six players who are averaging double-figures in scoring so far in the 2020 NBA Playoffs and have had four players averaging at least 18.8 points per game in this series.
That scoring depth has made it extremely hard for the Celtics to match up defensively and the Heat have also dominated the turnover battle. Miami has only turned the ball over 42 times in four games, while forcing 63 Celtics turnovers. Boston's three primary ball handlers (Tatum, Walker and Marcus Smart) have combined to commit 41 of Boston's turnovers, so Miami's on-ball pressure has been a key throughout the series.
How to make Celtics vs. Heat picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with Tatum and Dragic projected to exceed their season-long scoring averages. It also says one side of the spread has all the value. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Heat vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Celtics vs. Heat spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $5,000 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.