The No. 8 Miami Heat will have another chance to close out the 2023 Eastern Conference finals when they face the No. 2 Boston Celtics in Game 5 on Thursday night. Miami came up short of the sweep at home in Game 4, falling in a 116-99 final. The Celtics are trying to become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a playoff series, while Miami is looking to join the 1998-99 New York Knicks as the lone eighth-seed to advance to the NBA Finals.
Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET at TD Garden in Boston. Caesars Sportsbook lists Boston as the 8.5-point favorite, while the over/under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 215 in the latest Celtics vs. Heat odds. Before making any Heat vs. Celtics picks, you need to see the NBA playoff predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's advanced computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past four-plus seasons. The model entered the conference finals of the 2023 NBA playoffs a stunning 72-38 on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning nearly $2,900. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Heat vs. Celtics and just locked in its picks and NBA playoff predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are several NBA betting lines and trends for Celtics vs. Heat:
- Celtics vs. Heat spread: Celtics -8.5
- Celtics vs. Heat over/under: 215 points
- Celtics vs. Heat money line: Celtics -320, Heat +250
- MIA: The Heat are 21-26-1 against the spread in road games
- BOS: The Celtics are 28-22 against the spread in home games
- Celtics vs. Heat picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why the Heat can cover
Boston has not met expectations at home this postseason, losing five of its past seven games at TD Garden. The Celtics lost the first two games of this series at home, despite being favored by at least 8.5 points in both of those contests. They have only covered the spread twice in their last six games as favorites.
Miami has been an excellent team to back in the playoffs, covering the spread in 10 of its last 13 games. Star forward Jimmy Butler leads the Heat with 29.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game in the postseason, while center Bam Adebayo is averaging 17.6 points and 8.9 rebounds. The Heat have covered the spread in five of the last six meetings between these teams, winning five of those games outright. See which team to pick here.
Why the Celtics can cover
Boston's playoff profile remains strong despite a 3-1 series deficit. The Celtics cruised to a dominant performance in Game 4, scoring 1.22 points per possession and shooting 51% from the field. On defense, Boston yielded only 1.05 points per possession, with Miami shooting 8 for 32 (25%) from 3-point range and producing only 18 assists compared to 15 turnovers. For the full playoffs, the Celtics are scoring 1.17 points per possession, and Boston leads the postseason with 60.0% true shooting. The Celtics have a 2.01 assist-to-turnover ratio, and Boston's 3-point shooting is devastating.
On defense, the Celtics are giving up only 10.9 fast break points, 42.4 points in the paint and 20.9 assists per game in playoff action. Boston also finished No. 2 in the NBA in defensive efficiency during the regular season, yielding only 110.6 points per 100 possessions. Additionally, the Celtics bring a tremendous overall pedigree that includes top-five marks in defensive rebound rate, opponent shooting, assist prevention and free throw prevention. See which team to pick here.
How to make Celtics vs. Heat picks
SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 220 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50% of simulations. You can only see the model's NBA playoff picks at SportsLine.
So who wins Heat vs. Celtics, and which side of the spread hits well over 50% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Celtics vs. Heat spread you need to jump on Thursday, all from the model that is 72-38 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.