Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals is set for 8:30 pm on Tuesday 24th May at Miami's Kaseya Center, where the Boston Celtics will be looking to turn the tables on what has been a dominant series for the Miami Heat.
Today we'll be doing our best to predict Game 4, looking at the best odds on the market and some of our favourite bets, but first let's recap the series so far.
The series so far
Miami have taken a 3-0 lead in the East Conference Finals and look set to advance to the NBA Finals with a Game 4 win this Tuesday.
In the latest matchup, Miami landed a 128-102 victory with home court advantage to advance to a three game win streak and with such a huge margin, it's difficult to know what Boston can do to close the gap.
Game 3 saw Gabe Vincent lead the Heat in scoring with 29 points, while Jimmy Butler - who dominated Game 2 - logged just 16 points on 5-of-13 shooting. It seems that even when their star players are lacking, the rest of Miami roster will pick up the pieces. Meanwhile, the Celtics' duo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum combined to score just 26 points between them, failing to make an impact, unlike many of their regular season games this season.
Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla seems to be taking some of the blame, but Boston simply aren't playing good enough basketball to win:
I just didn’t have them ready to play. I should’ve. Whatever it was … I have to get them in a better place ready to play. That’s on me.
Long story short, Miami have dominated the series so far with well-coordinated and precise basketball. They're in perfect form, looking to take a convincing 4-0 series and advance to the Finals, but we've seen four-game comebacks before, so who knows what will happen...
Gabe Vincent TOOK OVER Game 3!— NBA (@NBA) May 22, 2023
🔥 29 points (playoff career high)
🔥 6 threes (playoff career high)
🔥 11-14 shooting
MIA can clinch Finals berth Tuesday on TNT pic.twitter.com/iBylN4kBlf
Moneyline Prediction: Heat (-120)
The moneyline is perhaps the most popular wager in all of sports betting, and is simply a bet on who will win the game. To find out more about moneyline bets, check out our full guide here.
First, let's take a look at the odds:
As you might have guessed, Boston are the clear underdogs in this matchup. Not only are they in a 3-0 deficit, but they also lost Game 3 by a huge 26-point margin. It would be a shock to see any sportsbook favour a team after such a big blowout.
If Miami can continue their current form, the result looks almost certain... The Heat should make the trip to the NBA Finals in June.
Our prediction: Miami to win
Spreads Prediction: Miami -2.5 (-105)
Most of the sportsbooks have the spread line at 2 points, but if you're betting on the Heat to take the win, you can find a more favourable line at 2.5points on BetMGM.
Miami have easily cleared a 2.5point spread in every playoff game of this series, with an average margin of 13 points per game when combining the three scorelines versus the Celtics.
Admittedly, we expect to see more effort from Boston in Game 4 as their shot at the NBA Finals hangs by a thread. But at the same time, Miami will be looking to put this series to bed and secure their spot in the Finals with another win.
If the series so far is anything to go by, Miami clearing the spread is our best bet here.
Spread Prediction: Miami to win by more than 2.5 points.
Totals Prediction: Over 215.5 (-105)
Not only has every game this series beaten the spread, but it has also beaten the totals line. The past three matchups saw scoreline totals of 239 points, 216 points and 230 points.
It wouldn't be surprising to see Miami alter their playstyle or even their lineup, and run a more defensive scheme, preserving their star players for the Finals and shutting down a depleted Celtics offense. The loss of Danilo Gallinari could affect Celtic's playstyle, but All-Star forward Jaylen Brown is listed as available. Meanwhile, Miami will be without Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo.
It's tough to know exactly which way this game will go, but I'm banking on a closer back-and-forth game and expecting to see the scoreboard break the 215.5 mark.
Totals Prediction: Over 215.5 points in Game 4
So there you have it, our Celtics vs Heat predictions for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Do you think we've hit the nail on the head? Or will Boston come through with a surprise win and keep the series alive? Let us know over on Twitter & Instagram.
(Header Image Credit: Sam Navarro - USA TODAY Sports)