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Opening Celtics vs Heat Game 3 Odds, Spread & Expected Line Movement

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NBA Basketball

Updated May 19, 2023 · 8:40 PM PDT

Jimmy Butler face-to-face with Grant Williams
May 19, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams (12) and Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) react after a play during the second half of game two of the Eastern Conference Finals for the 2023 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
  • Game 3 between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat goes Sunday, May 21
  • The Heat took both games in Boston to open the East Finals, and have a commanding 2-0 lead
  • Keep reading for the Celtics vs Heat Game 3 odds, point spread, and expected line movement

Anyone expecting a Lakers-Celtics NBA Finals was rubber stamped might want to rethink that one.

The 8th-seeded Miami Heat have officially pushed the Boston Celtics to the edge, after taking two at TD Garden, the latest a 111-105 win in Game 2 Friday night.

Perhaps more surprising than Miami’s wins was the books sticking tough with the Celtics.

Boston was pegged as an 8-point favorite in Game 1, and even after losing 123-116, they were upped to 9-point favorites Friday.

With the series move to the Kaseya Center in Miami for Game 3 (Sunday, May 21 at 8:30pm ET, live on TNT), the lines have shifted dramatically.

Opening Celtics vs Heat Game 3 Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Boston Celtics -3 (-106) -138 Ov 213 (-110)
Miami Heat +3 (-114) +113 Un 213 (-110)

Despite all we’ve seen through two games, the NBA betting odds still have the visiting Celtics as 3-point favorites, and -138 on the moneyline, an implied win probability of 57.98%.

It’s been a rugged series so far, but the teams have crossed the over both games. After a Game 2 total of 215.5, it’s dropped down to 213 at South Beach.

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Odds as of May 19th at FanDuel. Claim a FanDuel promo code to bet on Celtics vs Heat Game 3. 

Celtics Stars Fade Again in Fourth

If this were a 36-minute game, Jayson Tatum would be the runaway MVP of this series. Alas, he’s been a non-factor in the fourth quarter of both games, a big reason why Boston is in this 2-0 hole.

He was held without a field goal the second straight game in the Eastern Conference Finals, accounting for just five points on free throws, dulling an otherwise brilliant 34-point, 13-rebound, 8-assist evening.

That helped the Heat claw back from a 96-87 deficit just over halfway through the fourth.

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.

For a second straight game, the C’s could not get it done from distance, shooting a brutal 10-for-35 from three, a 28.5% clip. They also turned the ball over 15 times, with Tatum and Brown accounting for eight of them.

Butler And Backup Band Spoil Garden Party

Perhaps the biggest head scratcher so far in this series is head coach Joe Mazzulla’s reluctance to double Jimmy Butler.

While Miami was forcing Tatum into facilitator (he had just two attempts in the fourth quarter), Butler carried the Heat to victory, going 4-for-8 from the floor in the final frame. He finished with 27 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks.

After Grant Williams drilled a three over Butler and started yapping, the Heat went to work, ending the game on a 24-9 run, turning a 9-point deficit into a 6-point win. Bam Adebayo was huge, with 22 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists.

Miami is now 6-2 in these playoffs in games where they’ve trailed by 10+ points. That’s resilience.

Still without Tyler Herro, there are plenty of Miami role players sizzling the Celtics. In Game 2, Caleb Martin finished with 25 points, while Duncan Robinson added 15 of his own off the bench.


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Celtics vs Heat Game 3 Line Movement

Finally, the line resembles a close game, but it’s wild the Celtics are still the betting favorite.

Miami can essentially go for the kill shot here, a win putting them into the rarefied air of a 3-0 lead — a deficit no team in NBA playoff history has ever come back from.

Boston has lost two in a row once in these playoffs, which pushed them to the brink of elimination vs the 76ers. They responded with a 95-86 road win to force a Game 7.

Miami is breaking all thought of normal NBA convention with their play, and I’m not sure if the books are onto it. I’d be shocked if Boston is a 3-point favorite by tip-off — I’d expect that line to shave by at least a half-point, if not all the way down to two.

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