Once the format was announced for the restart of the NBA, the feeling was that 8 games might not be enough to change the standings in the conferences that dramatically. That might not prove to be the case, though, as some teams are adapting to life in the bubble a little faster than others, although how that translates to the playoffs remains to be seen. If we are being honest, though, the state of the Eastern Conference in regards the current seedings seems close to being set in stone. There is enough of a separation between all the teams that any major moves seem unlikely at this point. There are, though, a couple of moves that could be made, which could include the Miami Heat catching the Boston Celtics and moving into the #3 seed, which would give them a more favorable opening round matchup. That alone makes this a game worth watching. The Boston Celtics are carrying the “away” team tag here and are in as a 3 ½ point favorite, with the total set at 220 ½.
When: Tuesday, August 4 at 6:30 PM EST
Where: Wide World of Sports, Orlando
Why bet on the Boston Celtics
If the Celtics thought that getting back into action would be easy, they found out otherwise when it was revealed that they would be facing the Milwaukee Bucks in their first game back. They ended up losing 119-112 to the best team in the league, but they were able to bounce back in their next game, taking care of the Portland Trail Blazers in a 128-124 victory. The NBA decided to have home and away designations for these games, so the Celtics are in as the road team here, where they have gone 20-13 this season. They have won 5 straight games against the Heat and are 27-11 in conference games. Versus teams with a winning record, Boston in 14-14. In road games versus the Heat, they are 7-2 in the last 9.
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Why bet on the Miami Heat
Getting back into the swing of things after such a long layoff is never easy, but the Miami Heat have had it tougher than most. They opened up with a tough game against the high-flying Denver Nuggets, which they won in convincing fashion, taking that one 125-105. Next up were the Toronto Raptors on Monday, with that one ending in a 107-103 loss. There is no rest for the wicked, as the Heat need to put that loss aside and play again on consecutive days. On the positive side of things, they have bee competitive versus teams with winning records, going 15-11 SU in those games. One thing to pay attention to here, though, is Miami’s record as an underdog, where they are 1-6 SU in their last 7.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The heat Have not been great as an underdog, which is one strike against them, while they are also playing back to back games in a very difficult situation. I think both of those things make the Boston Celtics a very good pick here.
Boston Celtics 117 Miami Heat 109