CELTICS AT HEAT: GAME 7 ODDS & PREVIEW
After allowing 82 and then 80 points in back-to-back wins to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics returned to Boston for Game 6 with a ton of momentum on their side. Just one win away from a return to the NBA Finals, the Heat were basically written off by the media and public bettors alike before tipoff; per BetQL’s public bets dashboard, 61% of moneyline bets (and 80% of the money) backed the Celtics at astronomical -430 odds. Sharp bettors also showed a slight lean to Boston -8.5 in that contest (FYI, the BetQL Model correctly listed the Heat +8.5 as the best bet). It goes without saying that this roller coaster of a series has been very difficult to predict.
Jimmy Butler personally willed Miami to a Game 6 victory with an iconic 47-point, 9-rebound, 8-assist performance. He went 16-of-29 shooting (4-of-8 from three) and a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line and also added four steals in the most clutch game of his career. That 47-point showing was 20 points higher than his Games 3, 4 and 5 point outputs combined, but it was very obvious early on in Game 6 that he was locked in and that the knee that limited him throughout the series (and season) was not going to be an issue. He will be Miami’s most important player once again in Game 7, especially because Miami only got 16 points from their bench and six from Bam Adebyo (3-of-6 shooting in 41 minutes) continued his disappearing act in Game 6. The Heat are seemingly in a great spot to earn a Game 7 victory; they’ve gone 33-15 SU (+17.25 units, 33.8% ROI) after allowing 105 points or less this season. Since they just allowed 103, the trend is active.
Somehow, Jayson Tatum (30 points on 9-of-12 shooting, 8-for-8 free throw) and Jaylen Brown (6-for-13) combined for just seven field goal attempts in the second half of Game 6, which is a huge testament to Erik Spoelstra’s halftime adjustments. While the Celtics consistently got stops in previous games, Butler and Kyle Lowry consistently hit clutch shots late in the shot clock and veteran Al Horford had his worst game of the playoffs so far, going just 1-for-8 shooting for three points with nine rebounds, five assists and three turnovers in 33 minutes. Both teams had exactly 17 turnovers and both shot over 90% from the free throw line in Game 6, but it seemed like Miami was able to come up with important loose balls and find the bottom of the net when they needed to, a stark reversal of what happened in their previous contests. Nonetheless, Boston has an important trend in their favor in Game 7. They’ve gone 23-9 ATS in the second half of the season when playing against a team with a winning record.
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PLAYER PROP VALUES
Al Horford Over 8.5 Rebounds (-139, BetRivers)
Horford is coming off of a 9-rebound Game 6 and has gone over 8.5 boards in three of his five games played in this series, including 14 in Game 3 and 13 in Game 4. BetQL is projecting him to record nine rebounds in this particular matchup.
Jaylen Brown Over 9.5 Rebounds + Assists (+115, Caesars)
BetQL is projecting Brown to have 10 rebounds + assists in this game and he’s recorded over 9.5 in four of his six outings in this series.
Jimmy Butler 30+ Points, 8+ Rebounds, 5+ Assists (+360, BetMGM)
Boosted to +360 odds on BetMGM, it’s worth taking a shot on Butler to eclipse 30 points, eight rebounds and five assists, just like he did in Game 6. If he’s back close to full health and shows the burst he did last time out, he will be a force to be reckoned with… again.