- The Boston Celtics rout the Miami Heat in Game 5, moving to within one win of the NBA Finals
- Boston’s title odds shorten to +140, while the Heat have ballooned to +1500 odds
- See the updated 2022 NBA Championship odds, plus analysis and a betting prediction
Like the Golden State Warriors, the Boston Celtics are just a win away from a trip to the NBA Finals.
The C’s rolled into Miami and put the clamps on the hometown Heat in a not-so-pretty 93-80 Game 5 win.
Boston heads back home Friday to close things out in Game 6.
Not surprisingly, Boston’s NBA Championship odds have shortened as they close in on a 22nd Finals appearance, where they will seek an 18th franchise title, which would break a stalemate with the Lakers for the most all-time chips.
NBA Championship Odds
|Golden State Warriors||-150|
Odds as of May 25th at Caesars Sportsbook.
The Celtics now hold +140 odds, from the +210 mark they had entering the Eastern Conference Finals. The Dubs are sitting at -150 odds, seeking their fourth franchise title.
Celtics Blast Heat in Game 5
Boston’s top-rated defense held the fort in a first half where both teams couldn’t put the ball in the ocean. At the half, Miami was up 42-37.
Once they made halftime adjustments, the Celtics took off. After taking a 1-point lead in the third quarter, Boston put together a 24-2 run to blow the game wide open.
JAYLEN BROWN ARE YOU SERIOUS pic.twitter.com/1VECNURa8a
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 26, 2022
That’s followed the series flow, which has seen a monster run propel each team to victory. Boston’s massive surge coincided with a dominating 32-16 third quarter advantage.
Their defense continued to operate at a high level, holding Jimmy Butler to 4-for-18 shooting for 13 points — a game after holding him to 3-for-14 and six points. Miami’s starting backcourt of Kyle Lowry and Max Strus was held to a combined 0-for-15 for four points, missing all 12 of their three-point attempts.
Al on the attack 💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/Z2ygi9UtTg
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 26, 2022
Boston’s stars had no such issue. Jaylen Brown led all scorers with 25 points and four boards, drilling 5-for-9 from downtown. Jayson Tatum, still showing the effects of a right shoulder stinger, gutted out a 22-point, 12-rebound, 9-asssist night.
Al Horford was solid again, putting up 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
What’s the Best Bet?
All things being equal, Boston is the best team still standing in the NBA Playoffs. However, health and fatigue are the two biggest factors you need to consider when making your bet.
The Celtics looked gassed in the first half of Game 5, the effects of a grueling 7-game series win over the rough-and-tumble Bucks, and an equally draining battle with the East’s top seed in the Heat.
"With the injury you could tell he's not as explosive or quick… credit to him for playing"
Ime Udoka on Marcus Smart in Game 5 pic.twitter.com/JfrAdwUkm5
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 26, 2022
Along with Tatum’s lingering shoulder injury, Marcus Smart is playing on a bad ankle, while Robert Williams’ knee has been troublesome since returning from meniscus surgery, his status each game always up in the air.
Golden State, meanwhile, is relatively healthy, and haven’t had the same wear and tear through their first three rounds running through the West.
However, both teams don’t currently present attractive value. In fact, should Boston and the Warriors both advance, these figures should still be lurking around the same mark. There’s no rush to lock anything in.
This series is over. No way the Heat win two in a row. Not enough firepower. Too many injured guys. Lowry looks hurt or washed. Celtics defense is insane, Tatum and Brown have figured it out on offense. It's done.
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) May 26, 2022
Instead, the best play here is laying some down on the Heat. I know, it sounds crazy!
Even with Jimmy Butler’s recent struggles, Kyle Lowry’s non-factor play since returning from a bad hammy and Tyler Herro missing the last two games with a groin injury, the Heat aren’t dead — but they’re close.
Still, we’ve seen a number of series shift already in these playoffs, and taking a flier now wouldn’t hurt. So would improving their 7-for-45 mark from three-point range in Game 5.
Just save a little for the (mostly) inevitable Finals matchup.
Pick: Miami Heat (+1500)