Best Bet For Thursday’s Miami Heat-Boston Celtics NBA Playoff Game

Best Bet For Thursday’s Miami Heat-Boston Celtics NBA Playoff Game
© USA Today

The Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart, the NBA defensive player of the year, is expected to play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat on Thursday.

The game is being play at FTX Arena in Miami. Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET.

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Boston Hopes To Rebound From Loss

Miami won the first game in the seven-game series on Tuesday, 118-107.

Smart’s presence on the court for Thursday’s Game 2 could be a huge lift for the Celtics, as the team seeks to rebound from an 0-1 deficit. 

Smart’s defensive presence was missed in Game 1, especially during the third quarter, which saw the Heat outscore the Celtics 39-14. 

Smart will pick up Miami star Jimmy Butler on any screen at the top of the key, though Butler, one of the league’s stars, is going to have an advantage no matter who defends him.

Butler could be a bigger factor in this game than Smart.

With Butter leading the way, Miami is tough on both ends of the court. On defense, Miami does a good job of protecting the rim and the paint.

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Miami Head Coach Key To Success

Even with Smart back in action for Boston, I like the Heat to win Game 2. Perhaps this time, the Heat won’t be gracious hosts and provide a halftime lead to the Celtics. 

If the Celtics do hold the halftime lead, then I positively love betting the Heat with the In-Game Live wager. I like this bet in large part because of Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra, pictured.

Spoelstra has been named a Top 15 best all-time NBA coach, and he showed it in Game 1. He made important adjustments during the halftime break on Tuesday, leading to a Heat scorching of the Celtics in the third quarter. 

Throughout his career, Spoelstra is 18-8-1 against the spread, for 69% winning bets, in Game 2 of any playoff round. 

When you add Butler to that equation, with his energetic, relentless style of play, then Game 2 could turn out to be like Game 1 — a convincing win for Miami.

I am betting on the Miami Heat to win the game and cover the spread as 3.5-point home favorites, as offered by BetMGM and DraftKings sportsbooks.

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