The 2024 NBA Playoffs are officially underway and we'll be bringing you our betting predictions and picks for every game as we turn our attention towards this first series in the East. Fresh off their Play-In win, the 8-seed Miami Heat will visit the 1-seed Boston Celtics to continue their recent Playoffs rivalry. Check out our NBA odds series for our Game 1 Heat-Celtics prediction and pick.

The Miami Heat come into this game following a do-or-die win against the Chicago Bulls to gain the final spot in the East. They were able to get it done without their star player Jimmy Butler and they set up a rematch from last year's Conference Finals where they took down the Celtics and punched their ticket to the Finals.

The Boston Celtics are the consensus best team in the NBA and they currently have the best odds to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy at +145. They'll also have revenge on their minds following last year's downfall and they come into this series looking to establish their dominance early following a 3-0 regular season series against Miami.

Here are the NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

NBA Playoffs Odds: Heat-Celtics Game 1 Odds

Miami Heat: +13.5 (-110)

Moneyline: +660

Boston Celtics: -13.5 (-110)

Moneyline: -1000

Over: 209 (-110)

Under: 209 (-110)

How to Watch Heat vs. Celtics Game 1 

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET/ 10:00 a.m. PT


Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)

Why The Heat Could Cover The Spread/Win

Without Jimmy Butler in the lineup when it mattered most, both Tyler Herro and Jaime Jacquez Jr. were able to step up and score 24 and 21 points, respectively, while sending the Chicago Bulls home for the second straight year. Herro also contributed with 10 big rebounds and he played a similar role to the one Jimmy Butler is usually filling for their lineup. While they have a small chance to celebrate the win, Erik Spoelstra will have to get back to work in figuring out a gameplan to stun the Celtics. Bam Adebayo will be an integral part of this and his aggression in the paint will be essential to the Heat surviving this series.

The Miami Heat certainly have the ability to go on quick scoring runs with their offense in transition, but we've also seen them fall victim to lengthy scoring droughts in return. They won't be able to afford many of those against the Celtics and they won last year's series on the back of their gritty defense. It's still unclear whether Jimmy Butler will be able to go for this one but the spread indicates he could miss the beginning of this series. Look for Bam Adebayo to get more involved in the offense as he works inside and draws fouls to get to the line.

Why The Celtics Could Cover The Spread/Win

The Boston Celtics have to be pleased with this matchup as they get a chance to avenge their loss from last year's Eastern Conference Finals. They're also 3-0 against the Heat this season even with Butler in the lineup, including a 143-110 road blowout back in January. The Celtics are a much taller team and have more consistent scoring from each of their positions. Jayson Tatum is averaging 25 points against the Celtics this year and Kristaps Porzingis also has a very advantageous matchup with his size inside. Derrick White and Jrue Holiday remain day-to-day ahead of this one, but the Celtics' depth should more than make up for an absences in their starting lineup.

The key for the Celtics here will be rebounding the ball efficiently. They rank second in the NBA in rebounds per game and the Heat rank all the way in the 26-spot. With the total set low, we're bound to see some scoring droughts and tough defense from both sides, so securing rebounds and pushing the ball down the floor will serve the Boston Celtics well during this series. They're also 41-36 ATS this year and ended the season with the best home record in the NBA.

Final Heat-Celtics Prediction & Pick

The Miami Heat are once again the 8-seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs and they'll be looking to make another historic and improbable run to the Finals. The Boston Celtics stand in their way, who are dead-set on revenge from the 2023 Conference Finals and come in as the best team in the NBA. The opening spread is very telling and signs could be pointing towards Miami's Jimmy Butler sitting out for the start of this series.

The Boston Celtics have handled the Miami Heat all year and this series should be no different. I expect the Heat to punch back and keep games close at points throughout this series, but ultimately the Celtics will be looking to sweep and advance to the next round as quickly as possible. Without Jimmy Butler, it's tough to imagine how this Heat team will keep up with the scoring and defensive pressure of Boston.

For our prediction, let's roll with the Boston Celtics to cover the spread. They were the NBA's best home team this year and the TD Garden crowd will be out in full-force for the first game of the 2024 Playoffs. Take Boston to cover the spread as they start their championship run strong.

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Final Heat-Celtics Prediction & Pick: Boston Celtics -13.5 (-110)