TD Garden will host a high-profile Eastern Conference matchup on Friday evening. The Boston Celtics welcome the Miami Heat to town for the first battle since the teams met in the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals. Both teams are 1-0 this season after Boston defeated New York and Miami defeated Detroit on Wednesday. The Heat have injury concerns, as Josh Richardson (foot) and Haywood Highsmith (knee) are out.
For this game, SportsLine consensus lists Boston as 8-point favorites, and tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over/under, is 218 in the latest Heat vs. Celtics odds. Before you make any Celtics vs. Heat picks, you need to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s advanced computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five seasons. The model finished the 2022-23 NBA season on a 72-39 roll on all top-rated NBA picks, returning nearly $2,800. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Heat vs. Celtics and just locked in its picks and NBA predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Now, here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Celtics vs. Heat:
Heat vs. Celtics spread: Celtics -8
Heat vs. Celtics over/under: 218 points
Heat vs. Celtics money line: Celtics -345, Heat +269
Miami: The Heat are 24-28-1 against the spread in the last 53 road games
Boston: The Celtics are 29-23 against the spread in the last 52 home games
Heat vs. Celtics picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why the Heat can cover
Miami opened the season in strong fashion on Wednesday with a victory, holding Detroit to 1.06 points per possession in the process. The Pistons posted an ugly 51.7% true shooting mark, and Miami forced a turnover on more than 17% of defensive possessions, including 11 steals. On offense, Miami had only seven turnovers to go along with 16 offensive rebounds, and the Heat have a dynamic defense dating back to last season.
Led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, the Heat allowed fewer than 1.13 points per possession in 2022-23, and Miami is elite in key areas. The Heat were in the top three of the NBA in free throw prevention (21.1 attempts per game) and turnover creation (15.7 per game), and Miami dominated the defensive glass with a 73.3% defensive rebound rate and only 12.0 second-chance points allowed. Miami also posted top-four marks in points allowed in the paint (46.2 per game) and fast break points allowed (12.5 per game). See which team to pick here.
Why the Celtics can cover
Boston’s star power shined in the season opener. The Celtics are led by Jayson Tatum, who exploded for 34 points and 11 rebounds in the first game. Tatum also scored 30.1 points per game with 8.8 rebounds per game last season, and he is a three-time All-NBA selection. Jaylen Brown is also a dynamic force, averaging 26.6 points per game last season, and Boston brought in two top-tier players in the offseason.
Former All-Star Kristaps Porzingis produced 30 points, eight rebounds, and four blocked shots in his debut with the Celtics, and he averaged 23.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game with 62.7% true shooting last season. On the perimeter, Jrue Holiday is a two-time All-Star and five-time All-Defense selection, and he averaged 19.3 points, 7.4 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game with Milwaukee in 2022-23. He is also highly efficient, shooting 39.5% from 3-point range over the last three seasons combined. See which team to pick here.
How to make Heat vs. Celtics picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the point total, with seven players projected to score at least 15 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 50% of simulations. You can only see the model’s NBA picks at SportsLine.