Heat vs. Celtics: Betting Picks and Prediction for Game 5

Skyler Carlin
Skyler Carlin@skyler_carlin

The Miami Heat are headed back to TD Garden on Wednesday, hoping to avoid elimination in their first-round series versus the Boston Celtics. After splitting the first two games in Boston, Miami has lost back-to-back games by double-digits, with the Celtics covering as 10.5-point road favorites in Game 4.

With the Celtics securing a 3-1 lead in the series, the Heat's chances of making another deep postseason push are looking bleak. The absence of All-Star Jimmy Butler has loomed large for Miami as the Heat have scored 94 or fewer points in three of the first four games of the series.

Will the Heat be able to overcome the odds and force a Game 6 with a win on Wednesday, or will the Celtics close out the series and secure some rest before taking part in the Eastern Conference semifinals?

Ahead of Wednesday's contest, let's take a look at the advanced stats for both teams and discuss the Game 5 matchup between the Heat and Celtics.

All NBA odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook and may change after this article is published.

NBA Playoffs Betting

Heat-Celtics Betting Odds

Date and Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Spread: Celtics -14 (-108)

Total: 200.5


  • Heat: +660
  • Celtics: -1000

Heat vs. Celtics Advanced Stats Breakdown

nERD via numberFire. Adjusted offensive/defensive ratings and pace via DunksAndThrees.

  • Miami Heat:
    • nERD: 56.2 (15th)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 113.2 (25th)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 113.4 (8th)
    • Pace: 96.3 (29th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 40-40-2
  • Boston Celtics:
    • nERD: 80.8 (1st)
    • Adjusted Offensive Rating: 117.9 (2nd)
    • Adjusted Defensive Rating: 111.3 (3rd)
    • Pace: 98.8 (17th)
    • Against-the-Spread Record: 41-36-5

Heat vs. Celtics Best Bet

Heat +14.0 (-112)

In each of the last two games of the series, the Heat have lost by 14-plus points. Even though it will be tough for Miami to remain competitive amid injuries to Butler and rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr., these moments seem to be when the Heat perform at their best under head coach Erik Spoelstra.

At the same time, the Celtics are dealing with a notable injury of their own as Kristaps Porzingis is expected to miss some time after suffering a calf injury in Game 4. Before his early exit in the last game, Porzingis was shooting 41.2% from three-point range while producing two blocks per game in the playoffs.

Scoring at the rim could be a bit easier for the Heat with Porzingis sidelined on Wednesday. Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro will need to be more aggressive in the absence of Porzingis, who helped the Celtics give up the 13th-lowest shooting percentage at the rim (62.6%) this season.

During this series, Adebayo and Herro have shot a combined 27 free throws. Getting to the free-throw line and continuing to slow down the game on the offensive end of the court is one way the Heat can try to combat the trio of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Derrick White.

Despite being down 3-1 in the series, Miami hasn't shot much worse than Boston, logging a 52.8% effective field goal percentage compared to the Celtics registering a 54.7% effective field goal percentage. One of the major differences has been the fact the Celtics have just a 9.2% turnover rate compared to the Heat posting an 11.9% turnover rate.

While a shorthanded Miami team is going to have a tough time securing a win on the road, I think they can keep this game close enough to cover the spread. Before Wednesday's contest tips off, numberFire is giving the Heat a 68.85% chance of covering the spread while the implied odds of -112 suggest a 52.8% chance of happening.

Heat vs. Celtics Prop Bet

Nikola Jovic Over 14.5 Points + Rebounds (-125)

The Heat are going to be without Butler and Jaquez in their frontcourt, leaving more minutes for the likes of Nikola Jovic. Jovic has already been averaging 25.2 minutes per game in this series, but he could see 30-plus minutes in Wednesday's win-or-go-home game.

Throughout the regular season and playoffs, Jovic has seen an inconsistent role for the Heat. Including the first four games of the series versus the Celtics, Jovic has been on the court for 30-plus minutes only six times.

In all six of those games, Jovic has cleared 15-plus combined points and rebounds, and he had 23 total points and rebounds in Game 3 when he played 33 minutes. For the series, Jovic is averaging 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game for the Heat.

Besides needing to step up on the offensive end sans Butler and Jaquez, Jovic has the second-highest rebound rate (15.6%) among players on Miami's roster who have played 100-plus minutes in the series. Only Adebayo has a higher rebound rate (15.7%) than Jovic.

With Jovic likely seeing an expanded role in Game 5, I believe there is value in taking him to record 15-plus points and rebounds.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.