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Celtics vs. Heat prediction, odds, line: 2022 NBA playoff picks, Game 3 best bets from model on 87-59 run

CBS Sports logo CBS Sports 5/21/2022 CBS Sports Staff
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After losing Game 1 without NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, the Boston Celtics rebounded to win Game 2 over the Miami Heat on Thursday, leveling the series at 1-1. Smart had 24 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds and three steals in his return to action, and he'll be a focal point of Miami's gameplan at both ends of the floor in Game 3 on Saturday. Jimmy Butler is averaging 35.0 points per game for the Heat, but they'll need more supplemental scoring, as Gabe Vincent and Tyler Herro are the only other players on the team scoring double-figures per game in this Eastern Conference finals series. Vincent (hamstring), Kyle Lowry (hamstring), Max Strus (hamstring) and P.J. Tucker (knee) are all questionable for Miami. Robert Williams III (knee) is questionable for Boston. 

Game 3 of this ECF matchup in the 2022 NBA playoffs will take place at TD Garden in Boston with tipoff scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET. Boston is the six-point home favorite in the latest Celtics vs. Heat odds from Caesars Sportsbook while the over-under is listed at 208. Before locking in any Heat vs. Celtics picks, you need to see the NBA 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 three-plus seasons. The model enters the conference finals round of the 2022 NBA playoffs on a stunning 87-59 roll on all top-rated NBA picks, returning over $2,100. Anyone following it has seen huge returns. 

Now, the model has set its sights on Celtics vs. Heat, 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 odds and betting lines for Heat vs. Celtics:

  • Celtics vs. Heat spread: Boston -6
  • Celtics vs. Heat over-under: 208 points
  • Celtics vs. Heat money line: Boston -270, Miami +220
  • Celtics vs. Heat tickets: See tickets at StubHub
  • MIA: Heat are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an ATS loss
  • BOS: Celtics are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games playing on one day of rest
Featured Game| Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat

Why the Heat can cover

Butler is a two-way force on the perimeter for Miami. Butler consistently plays defense at a high level and isn't afraid to defend the opposing team's best player. The Marquette product is a very good passer and knows how to draw contact to get to the free-throw line. Butler leads the squad in points (29.8), rebounds (7.6) and steals (2.2). In Game 2, he dropped 29 points, six rebounds and three assists.

Herro has a nice shooting stroke from the outside. He can drain 3-pointers with regularity and quickly gains confidence. The Kentucky product is a sound passer with the athleticism to put the ball on the deck. Herro is averaging 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. 

Why the Celtics can cover

Boston has shown impressive resiliency throughout the season, overcoming an 18-21 start to finish as the No. 2 seed in the East (51-31) and beating the Bucks in seven games after losing Game 5 at home to go down 3-2. So it came as no surprise to see the Celtics bounce back after a poor third-quarter performance cost them Game 1.

Smart and Al Horford both missed that game and the Heat were able to take advantage by pounding the ball inside, with Butler going 12-for-19 from the floor and 17-for-18 from the free-throw line in a dominant performance. However, Smart and Horford's return in Game 2 helped limit the Heat to just 44.2 percent shooting as a team. With the series now heading to Boston and Ime Udoka's rotation now back in tact, the Celtics will look to follow their Game 2 blueprint and limit Butler's support in Game 3.

How to make Heat vs. Celtics picks

SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting 206 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see the model's pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Celtics vs. Heat? And which side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Heat vs. Celtics spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.


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