Are the Boston Celtics Fated to Make NBA History vs. the Miami Heat?

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: May 25, 2023 08:00 PM
Are the Boston Celtics Fated to Make NBA History vs. the Miami Heat?

The Boston Celtics are now two wins away from making NBA playoffs history. But can they finish the job against the Miami Heat?

That's what we're here to figure out. But first, here's everything you need to know about the next 2023 Eastern Conference Finals contest:

  • What: Heat vs. Celtics Game 6
  • Date: Saturday, May 27
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. EST
  • Where: Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida
  • Series Score: Miami leads Boston, 3-2

Almost nobody expected the Celtics to make it this far after they laid an egg in Game 3. Their odds to win the NBA Finals absolutely cratered at that time. Many expected them to go out in a sweep, losing Game 4 on the road in Miami. And yet, here we are. The Celtics are not only working off two straight victories, but two convincing victories. They dispatched the Heat by double digits in each of the past two contests, and now, with the series shifting back to Miami, all the pressure get displaced onto the Heat. Will they deliver in Game 6? The latest 2023 NBA playoff betting odds don't think so:

To WinBetOnlineBovadaBetUS
Miami Heat+128+125+115
Boston Celtics-152-148-127

Please remember to double-check these online NBA playoff betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat betting odds are accurate as of Thursday, May 26. Gambling operators will make changes to these lines prior to the opening tip on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. EST.

While we don't expect many major alterations to these Celtics vs. Heat betting lines, there are a few factors that could shift them. Boston's Malcolm Brogdon is dealing with a forearm injury that could prevent him from playing. Miami's Gabe Vincent, meanwhile, already missed Game 5 with his own injury, and it isn't yet clear whether he'll suit up on Saturday. Knowing what we know, though, we are ready to drop our Celtics vs. Heat Game 6 picks anyway. And they might just surprise you.

Will the Boston Celtics Force a Game 7 with a Third Straight Win Over the Miami Heat?

On some level, it's surprising that the Celtics are favored in Game 6. No NBA team has ever come back to win a series after trailing 3-0, and less than 5 percent of all series in this situation have actually made it to a Game 7. Picking up three straight victories in the playoffs, against the same team, is ridiculously hard.

Still, the Celtics are capable of doing it. They have defended with purpose these last two contests. And when they defend hard, it translates to the offensive end. That's not intangible-speak, either. Getting stops allows the Celtics to enter their early offense, and that's where they are most dangerous. Their ability to run Miami's shooters off the three-point line has been especially valuable the past two games. The Heat are at a ball-handling deficit without Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo and, most recently, Gabe Vincent. Their supporting cast mates aren't wired to make layered decisions when their fields of view are disrupted.

Believe it or not, though, we're still picking the Heat to beat the Celtics in Game 6.

This is predicated on the assumption Vincent rejoins the rotation. That shifts Kyle Lowry back to the bench while deepening Miami's half-court creativity. But we also just see too many self-inflicted wounds that won't continue for the Heat. They lost the three-point battle by a combined 54 points in Games 4 and 5. And they were minus-21 in points generated off turnovers.

If Miami bridges the gap in those categories—or outright wins them—they still have the defensive talent to derail Boston's offensive process. Lest we forget, they're also playing at home, where role players like Duncan Robinson, Max Strus and even Lowry traditionally fare better. Finally, we expect them to shelve Kevin Love and run smaller for longer—a shift that could sway this series back in their favor.

OSB Prediction: Miami Heat (+128)

Miami Heat To beat the Boston Celtics

Expect Game 6 Between Boston and Miami to be Closer Than the Previous Two Matchups

The Celtics largely walloped the Heat in Games 3 and 4. As you can tell from the latest NBA point spread betting odds for Boston vs. Miami, linemakers aren't expecting the same thing to happen again:

  • Boston Celtics, -3 (-110)
  • Miami Heat, +3 (-110)

There's no decision for us here. We have the Heat winning, so their point spread is the way to go.

With that said, we do recommend signing up with a gambling operator that lets you submit same-game parlays. You should be able to find a handful of sites that permit this by checking out our reviews of the best online sportsbooks. By parlaying Miami's moneyline with their point spread, you'd be eligible for a payout of almost 3.4-to-1. That's a score we can get on board with.

OSB Prediction: Miami Heat, +3 (-110)

Miami Heat To cover the point spread against the Boston Celtics

The Celtics Defense is Making Life Difficult on the Heat, But will that Continue?

We were burned by betting the "over" in each of the past two games. They instead turned out to be easy "under" picks. In response, linemakers have lowered their final-score projections even further for Game 6. Here are the latest NBA over/under betting odds for Celtics vs. Heat:

  • Over 210.5 (-110)
  • Under 210.5 (-110)

The Heat have now gone three straight games failing to score more than 102 points against the Celtics defense. On top of that, they failed to even clear the 100-point threshold in each of the past two contests.

Some ugliness is caked into their half-court offensive attack, which lacks consistent on-ball creativity outside Jimmy Butler. HoweverMiami is averaging 111 points per game for the playoffs when they're at home. That trend should hold across a larger sample size. And if they're going to top 110 points, a 210.5 over/under—the lowest of the series—should fall rather easily.

To be sure, there's risk here. The Heat have not been shooting well from three lately. But they have the snipers to catch fire. And after two straight games of unimpressive clips, it feels like they're due for a bounce-back performance.

OSB Prediction: Over 210.5 (-110)

Celtics and Heat To score 210.5 combined points

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your 2023 NBA playoffs betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

Online Sports Betting may receive compensation if you sign up through our links. Rest assured, we avoid biases and provide honest opinions on sportsbooks. Read more here.