The Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics in a marquee clash on Wednesday. Miami and Boston are tied at 2-2 in the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals, with Game 5 taking place at FTX Arena. The Heat look to bounce back from a 20-point loss in Game 4, with the Celtics seeking a win that would steal home-court advantage and give them control of the proceedings. Tyler Herro (groin), Kyle Lowry (hamstring), P.J. Tucker (knee), Max Strus (hamstring), and Gabe Vincent (hamstring) are listed as questionable for Miami. Marcus Smart (ankle) and Robert Williams (knee) are listed as questionable for Boston.
Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. ET in Miami. Caesars Sportsbook lists the Celtics as three-point road favorites, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 204 in the latest Celtics vs. Heat odds. Before you make any Heat vs. Celtics picks and NBA predictions, you need to see what SportsLine expert Zack Cimini has to say.
A Las Vegas handicapper who's never afraid to buck conventional wisdom, Cimini excels in multiple sports. Over the past 33 NBA selections, Cimini is 22-11, returning almost $1,000 to $100 players. He is also on an amazing 35-16-1 run with his last 52 against-the-spread picks involving the Celtics, returning $1,648 to $100 players during that span. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, Cimini has set his sights on Celtics vs. Heat, and just locked in his picks and NBA playoff predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see his picks. Here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Heat vs. Celtics:
- Celtics vs. Heat spread: Celtics -3
- Celtics vs. Heat over-under: 204 points
- Celtics vs. Heat money line: Celtics -160, Heat +140
- Celtics vs. Heat tickets: See tickets at StubHub
- BOS: The Celtics are 10-5 against the spread in playoff games
- MIA: The Heat are 9-6 against the spread in playoff games
Why the Celtics can cover
Boston is clicking in the playoffs, scoring more than 1.13 points per possession overall and nearly 1.16 points per possession against Miami. The Celtics are producing elite-level marks in shooting efficiency and offensive rebounding, and Boston's overall baseline defensively is sky-high. The Celtics are giving up only 1.06 points per possession in the postseason, and their performance against Miami has been tremendous. The Heat are shooting only 43.1 percent from the floor in the series, averaging 20.8 assists per game, and Miami is also shooting a very modest 32.6 percent from 3-point range in the extended playoffs.
Over a larger sample, Boston's defensive metrics are top-notch, including the league's best defensive rating (106.2) during the 2021-22 regular season. The Celtics also led the NBA in field goal percentage allowed, two-point percentage allowed, 3-point percentage allowed, and assists allowed, with top-five marks in second-chance points allowed, blocked shots, and points allowed in the paint.
Why the Heat can cover
Miami's offense sputtered considerably in Game 4, but the Heat have a strong baseline on that end of the floor. The Heat are grabbing 30.4 percent of missed shots on the offensive glass in the playoffs, and Miami led the NBA in 3-point accuracy (37.9 percent) during the regular season. The Heat also ranked solidly in the top 10 of the league in 3-pointers per game, free throw accuracy, assists per game, and assist percentage.
Additionally, Miami is elite on defense, ranking in the top four of the NBA in several major statistical categories during the 82-game regular season. The Heat are also yielding less than 1.08 points per possession in the playoffs, and Miami is averaging a robust 19.0 points per game off turnovers. Miami is forcing a Boston turnover on 16.1 percent of defensive possessions during the series, averaging 9.3 steals per game in the process.
How to make Heat vs. Celtics picks
For Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, Cimini is leaning over on the point total, but he also says a critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back. He's only sharing what it is, and which side of the Heat vs. Celtics spread to back, at SportsLine.
So who wins Celtics vs. Heat? And which side of the spread is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Heat vs. Celtics spread you need to jump on Wednesday, all from the expert that has crushed his NBA picks, and find out.