Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics
The Miami Heat play host to the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat are -7.5 point favorites over the Celtics with an over/under point total set at 177.5.
Head to head, the Celtics are 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings, while the home team is 11-4 ATS in the last 15 meetings and the favorite is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings. The Heat are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 3 or more days rest, 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall. The Celtics on the other hand are 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600 and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Conference Finals games, but just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 1 days rest.
It took them seven games, but the aging Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference finals after taking care of the Philadelphia 76ers in a series that went longer than most people expected. While Miami got rid of Indiana with relative ease in the end, Boston was forced to an elimination game by and up and coming 76ers team, however the older heads prevailed as Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo guided the Celtics to another Eastern Conference Finals. There opponents in Miami took a while to get going in their physical series with the Pacers, however Lebron James and Dwayne Wade would explode in a Game 4 victory in Indiana, which turned the series on it’s head and saw the Heat take the next two games to close out the series.
Everyone knows I like a good underdog, but not in this spot. The Heat have had four days to rest and prepare for Game 1, while the aging Celtics have had just one day to prepare after a draining seven game series against the 76ers. I really don’t like going against the Celtics in this high of a number, but it’s really not that high when you consider they lost their last two road games against Philly by seven and nine points. Boston might very well take Game 2, but I see a double digit lead for the fresher Heat in this one.
Miami Heat -7.5 Boston Celtics