The Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics will meet in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. We are at the Garden, sharing our NBA odds series, making a Heat-Celtics Game 7 prediction and pick while showing you how to watch.
The Celtics stunned the Heat 104-103 in Game 6 to force a decisive and pivotal Game 7. Now, they are one win away from becoming the first team in NBA history to ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a series. But the way this game started and how it finished cemented this game as an all-time great.
The Celtics started this game fast, leading 34-29 at the end of the first quarter. Then, they took a four-point lead into halftime. Boston extended their lead to seven, heading into the fourth quarter. Moreover, the Celtics led 98-88 with 4:56 left to play, and it seemed like the game was over. But Jimmy Butler began to draw fouls and got to the free-throw line repeatedly. Then, he hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 100-96 with 2:04 left. Butler continued to drive to the hole and cut the deficit. Ultimately, Butler had the ball in his possession with less than 10 seconds left and a two-point deficit, and drew a foul on a 3-point shot. Butler hit all three of his free throws and gave the Heat a one-point lead with three seconds. However, what happened next will go down in history.
The Celtics inbounded the pass to Marcus Smart, who chucked a 27-foot three-pointer from the left wing. Next, the ball bounced off the rim, and Derrick White launched himself into the air and tipped it in as time expired. A quick replay determined that White got the ball out of his hands just barely before the clock expired. Therefore, the basket counted and cemented one of the wildest endings in NBA history.
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 31 points and 12 rebounds. However, he struggled to shoot, going 8 for 22 from the field, and 0 for 8 from the triples. Jaylen Brown had 26 points and 10 rebounds. Likewise, Smart had 21 points while shooting 4 for 11 from beyond the arc. White finished with 11 points while shooting 4 for 10. Ultimately, the Celtics dressed only eight players.
Butler finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists. Regardless, he struggled mightily, going 5 for 21 from the field. Caleb Martin had 21 points and 15 rebounds. Additionally, he went 7 for 13 from the floor. Gabe Vincent scored 15 points. However, he struggled from the field, going 6 for 18. Bam Adebayo scored 11 points. Unfortunately, he also went 4 for 16 from the field.
Here are the Heat-Celtics NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Playoffs Odds: Heat-Celtics Game 7 Odds
Miami Heat: +7.5 (-110)
Boston Celtics: -7.5 (-110)
Over: 203 (-110)
Under: 203 (-110)
How To Watch Heat vs. Celtics Game 7
Time: 8:30 PM ET/5:30 PM PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Heat Could Cover The Spread
The Heat now find themselves at a crossroads. Initially, things looked amazing for them as they stole the first two contests in Boston. The Heat won Game 3 at home to give themselves a golden opportunity to close it out. Unfortunately, they did not play well at all in Game 4, as the Celtics steamrolled them 116-99. The Heat then fell 110-97 in Boston in Game 5. Furthermore, they got off to a bad start and shot the ball poorly throughout.
It has not become a bigger problem. Unfortunately, the Heat are not shooting the ball well. Miami shot 35.5 percent from the field. However, they shot 46.7 percent from the triples. But the Heat could not hit their perimeter shots, or mid-range jumpers. Furthermore, they missed simple layups. These are fundamentals in basketball. Ultimately, the Celtics won the game by dominating from the inside. The Celtics blocked eight of their shots. Amazingly, the Heat could not capitalize off 12 turnovers, either.
The Heat will cover the spread if they can hit their shots from within the arc. Moreover, they will win the game if they keep preventing the Celtics from hitting their shots from beyond the arc.
Why The Celtics Could Cover The Spread
The Celtics did not play well on offense. However, their stellar defense is the reason they are one win away from accomplishing something no team has ever done. The Celtics shot 43.6 percent from the field, which is sufficient. Moreover, holding the Heat to under 36 percent shooting is amazing; The Celtics have clamped down on Butler, not giving him any space. Furthermore, they had a similar game against him in Game 4, where they held him to 9 for 21 shooting. Butler has done more at the free-throw line than on the floor. Therefore, it is a testament to the job Boston has done on defense.
The Celtics dominate in the middle and on the inside. Thus, it is allowing them the chance to stall the Heat and slow them down. The Celtics will look to enact that exact game plan once more.
The Celtics will cover the spread if they can continue to dominate the inside. Moreover, they can cover if they stop Butler again.
Final Heat-Celtics Game 7 Prediction & Pick
How do the Heat fight back from this? I do not think the Celtics blow them out. This game will go down to the wire, with both teams looking to seal their ticket for a date with the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals.
Final Heat-Celtics Game 7 Prediction & Pick: Miami Heat: +7.5 (-110)