The Boston Celtics will try to level their Eastern Conference finals series against an injury-riddled Miami Heat team on Monday night in the 2022 NBA playoffs. The Heat have four of their five starters listed as questionable on the injury report, including star forward Jimmy Butler (knee) and point guard Kyle Lowry (hamstring). Key reserve Tyler Herro (groin) has been ruled out. Boston is dealing with some injuries of its own, as Jayson Tatum (cervical nerve) is probable, while Marcus Smart (ankle) and Robert Williams III (knee) are both questionable. Miami picked up a 109-103 victory when these teams met in Game 3 on Saturday.
Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET from TD Garden in Boston. Boston is the seven-point favorite in the latest Heat vs. Celtics odds from Caesars Sportsbook. The over-under for total points is set at 206, down 2.5 points from the opening line. Before making any Celtics vs. Heat picks or NBA playoff 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 32 NBA picks, Cimini is 21-11, returning almost $900 to $100 players. He is also on an amazing 34-16-1 run with his last 51 against-the-spread picks involving the Celtics, returning $1,548 to $100 players.
Now, Cimini has set his sights on Heat vs. Celtics, and just locked in his picks and NBA playoff predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see his picks. Now, here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Celtics vs. Heat:
- Heat vs. Celtics spread: Celtics -7
- Heat vs. Celtics over-under: 206 points
- Heat vs. Celtics money line: Celtics -320, Heat +250
- Heat vs. Celtics tickets: See tickets at StubHub
- MIA: The Heat are 9-5 against the spread in playoff games
- BOS: The Celtics are 9-5 against the spread in playoff games
Why the Heat can cover
Miami is in strong playoff form, as evidenced by a 2-1 series lead. The No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference can also take solace in a highly impressive regular season profile and a top-flight coach in Erik Spoelstra. Miami led the NBA in 3-point accuracy during the regular season, making 37.9 percent of attempts. The Heat also ranked in the top six with 13.6 3-pointers per game, and Miami was in the top 10 in free throw accuracy, assists per game, assist percentage and offensive rebound rate. On the other end, the Heat are even better, posting the No. 4 defensive rating (108.4) in the NBA this season.
Miami was in the top five in 3-point defense, field goal percentage defense, assists allowed and turnover creation, and no team allowed fewer points in the paint (41.3 per game) than the Heat. The Heat are also creating havoc in the series, forcing 24 turnovers in Game 3. Miami is averaging 19.9 points per game off turnovers in the playoffs, and the Heat are allowing only 38 points per game in the paint with a 74.9 percent defensive rebound rate.
Why the Celtics can cover
Injury issues become even more impactful near the end of a deep playoff run. The Heat are trying to overcome injuries to six of their regular rotation players, and they cannot count on another 30-plus point game from Bam Adebayo. Boston is in better shape heading into Game 4, especially with Tatum expected to play.
The Celtics have the motivational edge due to being down in the series, while Miami will get rested and maintain home court advantage even with a loss. The Heat are just 15-10 this season without Butler in the lineup, so it would be a huge blow if he is unable to go. Boston has covered the spread in five straight games following a loss.
How to make Heat vs. Celtics picks
For Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, Cimini is leaning under 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 Heat vs. Celtics? 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, all from the expert who has crushed his NBA picks, and find out.