Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics Game 5 Preview, Prediction, & Odds (2022 NBA Playoffs)

May 25, 2022 - 6:59 PM

The Eastern Conference Finals are now down to a best of three scenario, as both teams have won on each other’s floor and ground this series to a 2-2 halt. Now the series heads back to Miami as the Heat deal with a plethora of injuries all over the court as they try to get back on track.

Let’s take a closer look at where things stand ahead of tip-off.

DraftKings NBA Playoffs

DraftKings Odds

Boston Celtics

The Celtics were better able to overcome their key injury on Monday night at home, as the lack of Marcus Smart proved to be no problem as they cruised to a 102-82 victory in a game that wasn’t close for large stretches. Jayson Tatum led all scorers with 31 points, nearly 7 points above is series average of 24.3.

Big man Al Horford has seemingly been the difference so far in this series for the Celtics, however, as his presence down low has been thus far largely unmatched. Bringing in a team-high 9.5 boards per game, Horford is contributing another 12.7 in points as the Heat continue to lack an answer.

Miami Heat

Has far as the Heat’s key injury, Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro’s presence was sorely missed in Game 4, as the offense stalled all night as they skidded to just 82 points on the evening. Jimmy Butler, who scored 41 points in the series opener in Miami, scored just 6 points on Monday on 3 of 14 from the field.

Now off the injury report entirely after dealing with right knee inflammation for large parts of the postseason, the Heat are in desperate need of a big Jimmy Buckets performance if they want to hang around in a series that feels like the momentum is shifting north.

Prediction and Best Bet

With Herro expected to at least suit up tonight, the line movement suggests bettors aren’t so sure. Opening just a slight one-point underdog, the money has poured in on the favorite Celtics, moving the line up to +2.5 as of Wednesday afternoon.

For me, Game 4 was decided in the first quarter, when the Heat came out essentially asleep to start the game, falling behind 18-1 with four minutes left in the first. With the series shifting back to Miami, I expect the whistles to as well. In the two games in Boston, Miami took 40 fewer free throws than the Celtics, and whether that be from aggression (or other), that will change in a pivotal Game 5.

While I’m not sure the Heat have the depth left to maintain late, I like a firey start from a veteran team with its back against the wall.

Pick: Heat 1st Half +100

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