Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals is set for Thursday night as the Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics. In Game 1, the Heat got 41 points from Jimmy Butler and exploded for a 39-14 edge in third quarter on their way to a 118-104 win that easily covered the -4.5 spread. The Celtics, however, have yet to lose back-to-back games in the 2022 NBA playoffs and will be eager to earn a road split. They'll have to do it without Derrick White (personal), but will have Al Horford (protocols) available. Miami will be without Kyle Lowry (hamstring) again, with Gabe Vincent (hamstring) and Max Strus (hamstring) listed as questionable. 

Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET from FTX Arena in Miami. Caesars Sportsbook lists Miami at -3.5 in the latest Heat vs. Celtics odds. The over-under for total points is set at 207, up a point from the opening line. Before finalizing any Heat vs. Celtics picks or NBA playoff predictions, be sure 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 32 NBA picks, Cimini is 21-11, returning $890 to $100 players. He is also on an amazing 31-16-1 run with his last 48 against-the-spread picks involving the Celtics, returning $1,348 to $100 players.

Now, Cimini has set his sights on Celtics vs. Heat. You can head to SportsLine to see his picks. Now, here are several NBA odds and betting trends for Heat vs. Celtics:

  • Celtics vs. Heat spread: Heat -3.5
  • Celtics vs. Heat over-under: 207 points
  • Celtics vs. Heat money line: Heat -160, Celtics +140
  • Celtics vs. Heat tickets: See tickets at StubHub
  • BOS: The Celtics are 8-4 against the spread in playoff games
  • MIA The Heat are 8-4 against the spread in playoff games
Featured Game | Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics

Why the Celtics can cover

The Celtics are poised to bounce back from their Game 1 loss as Marcus Smart, the NBA Defensive Player, is considered probable after missing the opener with a foot injury. He should be able to help slow down Butler, who poured in 41 points in Game 1.

The Heat will continue to play without Lowry, who has missed seven of the past nine games with a hamstring injury. They are struggling to provide Butler with help, as no other player scored more than 18 points for Miami in Game 1. Boston has covered the spread in nine of its last 10 road games, making this an excellent spot to back the Celtics as they catch a few points. 

Why the Heat can cover

It's tough to bet against the Heat at this point. They have been one of the NBA's most successful teams against the spread (54-40 ATS) all season. They really step up it up against quality competition with a 60 percent cover rate vs. teams that won at least 55 percent of their games. The Heat are 8-4 against the spread in the NBA playoffs 2022 and they've only failed to cover once at home in the postseason. 

Butler has been perhaps the best overall player in the NBA's postseason this year. And while Miami isn't extremely deep, particularly with Lowry out, the Heat did get double-digit scoring from four of their five starters in the Game 1 win. Tyler Herro, meanwhile, came off the bench and added 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists. 

How to make Heat vs. Celtics picks

For Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, Cimini is leaning under on the point total, but he also says a critical X-factor makes one side a must-back. He's only sharing what it is, and which side of the Celtics vs. Heat matchup to back, at SportsLine.

So who wins Celtics vs. Heat? And which side is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of Celtics vs. Heat you need to jump on, all from the expert who has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.