The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat take center stage in the NBA on TNT matchup Thursday night. The two Eastern Conference foes meet in South Beach for a game which impacts the standings and playoff picture for both. This should be a close game and the current betting line shows that.
Boston enters Thursday with a 25-15 record while the Heat is 19-20, but both teams would be in the playoffs if the season ended today. The Celtics have won four straight prior to Thursday and are led by the strong play of Kyrie Irving, who’s averaging 22.6 points, 6.5 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.
On the opposite side, Miami comes in looking to snap a two-game skid. They’ve battled various injuries this year and are still without starting point guard Goran Dragic due to a knee injury. Names like Josh Richardson, Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow specifically have all stepped up to fill the void.
Let’s take a look at the latest betting line, odds and a prediction on the Celtics vs. Heat matchup, as it seems the road team is already getting some love.
Celtics vs. Heat Betting Line & Projected Total
All odds courtesy of Odds Shark and Bovada
- Boston Celtics: -3 (-110), opened at -1
- Over/Under: 212 (-110), opened at 210
The jump for the Celtics shows bettors expect the road team to keep their hot run rolling right into Miami. As Odds Shark shows, 68 percent of the public is currently on the Boston side of the bet while 64 percent favor the over in this game.
These two teams haven’t met during the 2018-19 NBA season yet but squared off three times last year, with the Heat winning the season series 2-1. As Land of Basketball shows, two of the three games were in Miami with the Celtics winning the first by six points and losing the second by six.
Entering last year, the Celtics had won seven straight against the Heat, extending that streak to eight in late-October of 2017. Currently, Miami has won back-to-back games entering this game.
Celtics vs. Heat Prediction & Pick
The Celtics opening as small favorites while on a win streak against a team who lost just days ago to the struggling Atlanta Hawks seems like a trap spot. It is worth noting that the Heat won eight of 10 games prior to their two losses and looked much better during a narrow 103-99 loss against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.
Boston is also in the second leg of a back-to-back, which would usually be a big deal, but they rolled past the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday by 27. In turn, head coach Brad Stevens was able to rest his starters, with Jayson Tatum playing the most minutes of the group with 25.
As things stand, I think the Heat with the points is a strong bet. Miami will get up for a big Eastern Conference matchup on the national stage. It’s not tough to envision them winning this game outright and while the Celtics have been good as of late, they’ve gone just 10-10 in road games.
Pick: Heat +3 and over 212