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Celtics Heat Betting – Celtics Stage Last Stand, Take Down Heat

Posted by Craig Parsons on 4/29/2011 2:01:17 PM
celtics heat betting

Miami are the online betting favorites to emerge out of the East, and many think that anything less than a trip to the NBA Finals would be a failure. But they’re going to have to overcome the defending conference champions from Boston, who have been counted out because of their age. We like to call it “championship experience”, and the Celtics will use all of it to move on the conference finals.

  • What: NBA Betting
  • When: Game 1 is on Sunday, 3:30 PM ET in Miami
  • Where: Games 1,2,5,7 (American Airlines Arena, Miami); Games 3,4, (TD Banknorth Garden, Boston)
  • Pick: Boston Celtics

Why Bet On Boston Celtics

The Celtics had the only sweep of the first round, but it wasn’t as easy as you would have thought as they won four straight against New York. The Knicks probably should have won the first two games in Boston if not for a few questionable officiating calls and some poor late-game offensive execution, but a win is a win, and then the Celtics went to New York and outplayed the Knicks. Rajon Rondo averaged 19.0 points, 12.0 assists and 7.3 rebounds, which included a triple-double, and he played his best basketball since the Kendrick Perkins trade, which really affected him on a personal level. When Rondo is at his disruptive best, the Celtics are extremely tough to stop. He’s going to be the key to this series as Miami is a far better defensive team than New York, but they don’t have a point guard that can stay with Rondo. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen both averaged 22.0 points or more in the first round, but they’ll be likely guarded by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in this series, if the Heat are smart. The Celtics also received some much-needed rest for their veteran legs, which is great at this time of year. But the biggest factor that could help their NBA betting odds is that Boston has a bit of an mental edge on the Heat, having won three of four this season, and they’ve beaten James twice in the playoffs, and Wade once (they beat both last year in the postseason).

The one worry is Kevin Garnett, who averaged 15.5 points and 11.3 rebounds against the Knicks, but he couldn’t stop Amare Stoudemire before the Knicks’ forward hurt his back. Garnett is their best big man because let’s face it, Glen Davis isn’t good for more than 20 minutes a game, Jermaine O’Neal is probably no good for more than 10 minutes, as goes for Nenad Krstic, and Shaquille O’Neal….we don’t even know if he is going to be back this year. Garnett and his knees looked ancient at points in the series, and he’s going to have to coax another decent performance out of them to shut down Chris Bosh.

Why Bet On Miami Heat

The Heat rolled over Philadelphia in five games, but rolling may be too much of an overstatement as only one game was a blowout, a 21-point romp in Game 2. Miami won the other three games by eight points or less, so the 76ers did prove to be a stern test. Their superstar trio of James (24.2 points, 10.6 rebounds, 6.2 assists), Wade (22.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists) and Bosh (19.8 points, 9.0 rebounds) led the way, while the rest of the team pitched in where they can. The rest of the team are players doubled up at positions as Joel Anthony and Zydrunas Ilgauskas share the center position, while Mike Bibby and Mario Chalmers platoon at the point. But this team is all about their version of the “Big Three”, and at points in the Philadelphia series, either James or Wade just took over the game, and the 76ers just didn’t have the talent or experience to figure out how to play with them. The Heat played tremendous defense, holding the 76ers to 41.4% from the floor, and Wade even added a couple of blocks per game.

But there were a couple of negatives to take away from that series. Philadelphia outrebounded Miami, and they also shot 39% from three-point land. The Celtics are a tough team who will definitely give the Heat a test on the glass, even with their aging and ailing big men, but most importantly, the Heat need to close out better on the perimeter. The Celtics shot 45% from long range in four meetings against the Heat in the regular season, and if Miami continues that sort of defense, their season if over.

How The Series Will Play Out

The Heat are big NBA betting favorites at -200, while the Celtics are rated at +160, but make no mistake about it: Boston is incredibly dangerous. Yes, the Heat won the regular-season finale by 23 points, but that game obviously meant more to Miami than it did to Boston, and we’d put more stock in that game if the Heat had done that in Boston. We have far more faith in the Celtics to win in Miami than the other way around, so the Heat’s homecourt advantage isn’t that big.

This series is going to be won mentally and with coaching, where the Celtics have a major edge with Doc Rivers over Erik Spoelstra, who has done a good job managing the most scrutinized team in the league, but he’s not up there with Rivers yet. Bosh has to step up and really support James and Wade, but we’re not sure he’s ready to overtake Garnett, ailing knees and all. This is going to be a very tough series, and you can expect a few flagrant and technical fouls, and probably an ejection at some point. But we’re not ready to anoint the Heat just yet. Take the Celtics in seven games in your sports betting picks.

Celtics Heat Betting Pick: Boston Celtics

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