- Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat goes Sunday, May 21
- Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo led Miami to a Game 2 road win and a commanding 2-0 series lead
- Don’t miss the latest Celtics vs Heat Game 3 odds, analysis and our betting prediction
After watching the Miami Heat take two games off their home floor to open the Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics need to respond as the scene shifts to South Beach.
It won’t be easy: Miami is a perfect 5-0 this postseason, and a win will put the Celtics in a 3-0 hole.
As we all know, no team in NBA Playoff history has ever come back to win a series after losing the first three games.
Game 3 goes Sunday (May 21) at 8:30pm ET from the Kasey Center in Miami, FL. You can watch the game live on TNT.
Celtics vs Heat Game 3 Odds
|Boston Celtics||-3.5 (-123)||-174||Ov 213.5 (-117)|
|Miami Heat||+3.5 (-111)||+126||Un 213.5 (-117)|
It’s a bit of a head scratcher, but bookmakers still like the C’s. Even after failing to cover as 8-point and 9-point favorites in Games 1 & 2, Boston is a 3.5-point road favorite in the latest NBA betting odds.
At -174 on the moneyline, Boston has an implied win probability of 63.50%. The game features a total of 213.5.
Odds as of May 20th at Caesars Sportsbook. Claim a Caesars promo code to bet on Celtics vs Heat Game 3.
Celtics Can’t Find Range
Maybe a change in scenery and baskets can turn Boston’s fortunes around.
The Celtics failed to find the range again in Game 2. The top 3-point shooting team in the playoffs, hitting at a 38.6% rate, went 10-for-35 from distance, just a 28.6% clip.
In fact, Miami has turned the arc — a weakness all year, ranking 27th at 34.4% — into a weapon, outscoring the Celtics by 15 in the series.
"Time is running out… We ain't got time for these mess ups"
Rob Williams talks about what went wrong in the fourth quarter and whether or not trust is wavering between players pic.twitter.com/uhXUotAx3k
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 20, 2023
On the year, the Celtics are 29-30 in the regular season and playoffs when they shoot under 40% from long range, and 36-2 when they shoot 40% or better.
Boston needs to find a way to get Jayson Tatum involved in the final frame. While he led Boston with 34 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, Tatum was held without a fourth-quarter field goal for the second straight game of the series, accounting for just five points on free throws in Game 2.
Jaylen Brown didn’t do much better, shooting just 1-for-5 in the final frame for two points, finishing 7-for-23 for 16 points, four rebounds and three assists. The two Boston all-stars have shot just 4-for-17 from distance, and have combined for 17 turnovers through two games.
Butler, Adebayo Lift Heat
Playoff Jimmy Butler is real, and he shined again in Game 2.
The Heat star finished with 27 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks. After a 4th-quarter verbal spat with Grant Williams, Butler helped the Heat overcome a 9-point deficit midway through the final frame, outscoring Boston 24-9 the rest of the way to win 111-105. Butler had nine points in that game-ending run.
Bam Adebayo has been a necessary star contributor and Miami’s only true interior presence. He had 22 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists.
Jimmy Butler's reaction after this make is hilarious lol pic.twitter.com/ReG3Aw95xV
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) May 20, 2023
As they have all playoffs, a different member of the supporting cast was crucial to the Heat win. Game 2 featured a 25-point effort off the bench from Caleb Martin, while Duncan Robinson shined in a reserve role, going for 15 of his own.
Gabe Vincent may have had only nine points, but hit a crucial jumper to maintain a Heat lead, then drilled a pair of free throws late to give Miami a 2-possession advantage.
The Heat improved to 6-2 in these playoffs in games where they’ve trailed by 10+ points.
Celtics vs Heat Player Props & Prediction
Looking for player props? Here’s one that seems to have escaped the books. Butler has at least two steals in nine of 12 Heat games these playoffs, averaging 4.5 through two games in the East Finals. Look for him to go over 1.5 (-169).
Tatum has gone for 30+ in four of his last five contests, and I don’t see anyone being able to slow him down. Take the over 30.5 at -113 odds. And if we’re playing Heat role-player roulette, look for the ball to land on Max Strus. He’s gone over 11.5 points at home in four of five starts.
As for the game wager, the Heat are a sharp 6-1 against the spread in their last seven home games, and they’re also 4-0 ATS in the last four head-to-heads with the Celtics.
That change of scenery we talked about earlier could help Boston, who are 4-1 ATS in their last five visits to Miami.
Boston may be the more talented side, but I believe they’re overvalued again. Look for the Heat to clutch up at home in this crucial matchup.
- Heat +3.5 (-111)
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