NBA Playoff Pick 'Em: Celtics-Heat Game 3 betting preview

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) dribbles around Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals playoff series, Thursday, May 19, 2022, in Miami. (Lynne Sladky/AP)

Ahead of Game 2, I predicted Marcus Smart’s return would have an impact on the scoring of Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro. Well, Herro and Butler combined for just 10 points (all scored by Butler) on 39 possessions with Smart as their primary defender. The Heat shot just 4-15 against Smart.

Oh, and he was one rebound away from a triple double.

Plus, Boston got Al Horford back, and he didn’t miss a shot in 33 minutes played.

The Celtics got back on track, picked up another blowout and had Game 2 locked up so early, Nik Stauskas had enough time to get three shots up.

I’m on a little mini-streak, so let’s see if we can keep it going.

 

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Overall record against the spread: 26-24-1

Miami Heat (+6.5, +215) at Boston Celtics (-6.5, -260) – 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT

Miami has won just one of the nine quarters this series has seen. When you put it like that, it’s rather surprising the series is tied 1-1 headed back to Boston. If you take out the third quarter of Game 1, the Celtics are +39 against Miami thus far, and the way they’ve been doing it seems extremely replicable.

Jayson Tatum continued to get to the rack, and he was joined in that effort by Smart and Jaylen Brown. Grant Williams was open both outside the arc and inside and was able to take advantage. As great as Miami’s defence is, Boston’s overwhelming size and athleticism may be too much for them to handle.

That said, I had this series going the full seven games since before it started, and I still feel that way. Both of these teams are just too tough, too well-coached, and too physical for anything less. I think this will be the last time in this series either team wins two games in a row, but I have Boston (-6.5).

If I’m Miami, I’m pretty concerned about the fact Victor Oladipo has been my second-best rim attacker, as Boston’s length has been mucking up everything on offence for the Heat.

And they’re not a good enough outside shooting team to succeed sustainably when that’s the case.

I’m looking at a lot of Boston player props because for some reason the only Heat players with posted props as of writing are Butler, Bam Adebayo (who has been invisible this series) and Max Strus.

I like Jayson Tatum OVER 38.5 points, assists and rebounds combined, because I just feel like we’re due for a 35ish point game from the young star.

Because his looks were so tasty in Game 2 (and he got some open looks in Game 1 but couldn’t capitalize) I’m eyeing Grant Williams OVER 8.5 points, and I’ll keep rolling with Marcus Smart OVER 1.5 blocks and steals combined until I stop hitting every defensive prop I bet.

The Sicko Same Game Parlay of the Night pays off at +1400

• Boston Celtics Money Line

• Jayson Tatum OVER 38.5 points, assist and rebounds combined

• Marcus Smart OVER 1.5 blocks and steals combined

• Al Horford OVER 7.5 rebounds

• Grant Williams OVER 8.5 points

As always, play safe and don’t chase.

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