Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics Game 6 Preview, Prediction, & Odds (2022 NBA Playoffs)

May 27, 2022 - 2:02 PM

The Eastern Conference Finals return to Boston tonight, giving the Celtics a chance to close things out on their home floor. In what has been a largely uneventful series, with the two teams trading blowouts to this point, something tells me we are in for a battle tonight with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line.

Let’s take a closer look.

DraftKings NBA Playoffs

DraftKings Odds

Miami Heat

Since scoring 41 points in this series’ opening game, Heat star Jimmy Butler has been missing in action as he’s struggled through a right knee injury that has plagued him all postseason. Over his past two games, Butler is averaging just 9.5 points on 7 of 32 from the field, as no other Heat players have been able to step up in the void.

Additionally, with Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro having missed the past two games with a groin injury, the Heat have averaged just 81 points per game during that stretch. In a pivotal Game 5 on Wednesday in Miami, Max Strus, Kyle Lowry, and Victor Oladipo combined for a staggering 1 of 22 from the field; seemingly, nothing has dropped for this banged-up Heat team.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics will look to make the 5th time the charm, as the past four trips to the Eastern Conference Finals have ended in defeat, two of which they let a 3-2 lead evaporate. With a now veteran Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who were a part of that 2017 collapse as young players, Celtics fans are optimistic tonight is the night.

In what was at times a sloppy Game 5, Brown scored a game-high 25, including a late 3 to spark a fourth-quarter explosion of points for an otherwise dormant Celtics offense. Another 22 points from Tatum was all Boston ended up needing, as the return of Marcus Smart from an ankle injury gave them the defensive prowess required to carry through.

Prediction and Best Bet

We’ve seen this number tick down from its opener of Heat +9, and I agree with that movement and expect more of it. Despite the rash of injuries to seemingly everyone in the Heat’s regular rotation, their shooting is well overdue for regression, and a Hall of Fame coach like Erik Spoelstra isn’t going down in flames.

Despite the lopsided final score of Game 5, the Heat were leading with two minutes left in the third before a 24-2 run by the Celtics put this game out of reach. This despite shooting just 32% from the field on the night and 7 of 45 from deep.

While it likely comes down to Herro being on the court in terms of winning outright, I think the Heat can keep this number close.

Pick: Heat +8.5

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