The Boston Celtics will aim to avoid elimination against the Miami Heat on Sunday evening. The two teams take the floor in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, with the Heat leading the series by a 3-2 margin. Gabe Vincent (knee) is officially listed as questionable to play for Miami. Romeo Langford (wrist) is out for Boston.
Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. ET in Orlando. William Hill lists the Celtics as three-point favorites, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 215.5 in the latest Celtics vs. Heat odds. Before you make 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: 215.5 points
- Celtics vs. Heat money line: Celtics -150, Heat +130
- BOS: The Celtics are 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 games
- MIA: The Heat are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Celtics can cover
The Celtics are trailing in the series but, on a per-possession basis, Boston actually has the edge. The Celtics have outscored the Heat by 2.2 points per 100 possessions in the five games, and Boston is scoring more than 1.14 points per possession in the series. Jayson Tatum leads the way with 27.0 points, 10.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game in the series, with Jaylen Brown adding 22.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest against Miami.
The Celtics are making clear gains on the offensive glass, snatching 29.9 percent of their own misses against Miami, and Boston's defense is also elite. The Celtics are second in the NBA Playoffs in defensive efficiency, giving up only 1.05 points per possession, and Boston leads the postseason in both field goal percentage and three-point percentage allowed.
Why the Heat can cover
The Heat are stellar on both ends of the court, with head coach Erik Spoelstra able to deploy varied lineups. On the offensive side, Miami ranks as a top-five team in the playoffs, scoring 112.7 points per 100 possessions and landing in the top five in both offensive rebounding and free throw creation. Against the Celtics, the Heat are generating an elite 66.5 percent assist rate, with an impressive 2.19 assists for every turnover. Miami is limiting its turnovers, giving the ball away on only 10.9 percent of possessions against Boston, and that leads to a healthy offense.
On the other end, the Heat are No. 3 in the NBA in shooting efficiency allowed during the playoffs, with stout perimeter defense at the forefront. From there, Miami generates 7.6 steals and 4.3 blocks per game in the postseason, ranking as above-average in both areas when compared to other playoff teams.
How to make Celtics vs. Heat picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, with Jimmy Butler and Gordon Hayward projected to fall short of their season-long scoring averages. It also says one side of the spread hits in well over 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 in well over 50 percent of simulations? 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.