After falling behind 3-0 in the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics fended off the Miami Heat in Game 4 on Tuesday night. While this was cause for minor celebration, it doesn't change history. No NBA team has ever come from behind to win a best-of-seven series upon entering a 3-0. Can the Celtics truly, actually become the first?
This question skips a few steps in the process. Before Boston can make history, they must win Game 5. Below you can see all the details for that matchup:
- What: Heat vs. Celtics Game 5
- Date: Thursday, May 25
- Time: 8:30 p.m. EST
- Where: TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts
- Series Score: Miami leads Boston, 3-1
Though the Celtics still clearly have their work cut out for them, there's a bit more optimism peppered into their outlook following Tuesday night's victory. Winning on the road down 3-0 is tough. But they did it. Boston now gets to go home and try forcing a Game 6. For what it's worth, the latest 2023 NBA playoff betting odds expect them to do just this. In fact, they seem almost certain of it:
Remember to double-check these NBA online betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Game 5 betting odds are accurate as of Tuesday, May 23. That gives the best NBA online sportsbooks plenty of time to make adjustments ahead of Thursday night's opening tip-off.
To be honest, we would almost expect serious movement on these Celtics vs. Heat betting lines. Oddsmakers have been wrong about every game in this series. Boston was favored through the first three contests, which they lost. Miami was the favorite entering Game 4, which they lost. And given how much the Celtics have struggled to win games in which they're the outright favorites this postseason, don't be surprised if the Game 5 moneylines undergo stark face-lifts in the coming days.
But that's enough of that. Let's get to some Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics Game 5 picks!
Do the Boston Celtics Have What It Takes to Force a Game 6?
If we're being blunt, we're extremely drawn to the Heat at +265. This is one heck of a payout for a team that, frankly, has dominated much of the Eastern Conference Finals. Sure, they dropped Game 4 on their home floor. But winning four in a row at this level is ridiculously difficult. The Celtics haven't lost four consecutive games in over two years. Miami will get better shooting nights from Jimmy Butler and some of their supporting casts. That makes them inherently attractive. Remember: The Heat were heavy underdogs in each of the first three games and still won.
Yet, just because Miami's +265 jumps out that doesn't make it the right call. And in this case, it's not.
The Celtics discovered something in the second half of Game 4. They did a great job disrupting the Heat's passing lanes, attacking the paint, spraying the ball out to shooters and just generally getting into their early offense. Indeed, part of their success was holding a 30-point advantage from beyond the arc. But that's not atypical for them. The crux of Boston's offense is the three-point shot. They had canned under 30 percent of their triples through the first three games. This is more of a progression to the mean rather than an anomalous performance they cannot repeat.
What's more, the Celtics' offensive renaissance came on the road. Statistically speaking, they have been much more efficient at home this year. This is especially true of their non-stars. So while Al Horford and Grant Williams might cool off from deep after going 7-of-13 on threes combined, Boston is due to get better outside clips from Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon and even Jaylen Brown.
On the flip side, the Heat cannot necessarily count on being much better offensively in Game 5. Miami has played above their head for pretty much this entire postseason. Shooting regression for Caleb Martin, Max Strus and Gabe Vincent should be the expectation. It doesn't help their case that their own role players statistically shoot better at home, and they'll be playing on the road Thursday night. Without question, the Heat should get more combined offense from superstars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, who went 13-of-28 from the floor in Game 4. The thing is, that might not be enough.
OSB Prediction: Boston Celtics (-330)
Can the Celtics be Trusted to Pull Away in Game 5?
The latest NBA point spread betting odds for Heat vs. Celtics is on the higher end, as you can see below:
- Boston Celtics, -8 (-110)
- Miami Heat, +8 (-110)
Even though the Celtics just stomped the Heat by 17 points in Game 4, we can't get behind this point differential. They can't guarantee they'll shoot 40-plus percent from three again, and it took an early fourth quarter collapse from Miami for Game 4 to get out of reach. Besides, after two straight blowouts, this series is due for a single-digit point margin.
Our recommendation: Check out our reviews of the best online sportsbooks and select one that will allow you to parlay Boston's moneyline (-330) with Miami's point spread (-110). The return on this transaction is roughly 1.55-to-1, making it substantially more attractive in comparison to just submitting a single wager.
OSB Prediction: Miami Heat, +8 (-110)
Miami Couldn't Score Efficiently in Game 4, But Will That Change in Game 5?
Here are the latest over/under betting odds for Celtics vs. Heat Game 5:
- Over 215 (-110)
- Under 215 (-110)
Linemakers continue to lower the over/under for this series. After the average combined score through Game 3 was around 2018, the over/under for Game 4 checked in at 216.5. We mistakenly smashed the "over."
Guess what? We're hitting the "over" again.
Miami could not buy a bucket from three in Game 4 and also shot much worse inside the paint than usual. While we still project the Celtics to win, we also expect the Heat's offense to be much better. With Boston playing at home and with Miami shooting relatively well from downtown for this series overall, the final score should leak back into the 220s.
OSB Prediction: Over 215 (-110)
Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one to use for all of your 2023 NBA playoffs betting: