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2020 NBA Playoffs: Heat vs. Celtics odds, picks and predictions (Sept. 15)

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September 14th, 2020

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat should be the first of several great games between two deep and talented squads. The two teams take the court at 6:40 p.m. ET, and BetAmerica has betting odds, picks, and predictions for this intriguing showdown.

Tue, September 15 2020, 10:42 PM

Boston Celtics

Spread

-2

Moneyline

-125

Total

O 209.5

Miami Heat

Spread

+2

Moneyline

+105

Total

U 209.5

Miami has been rolling in the postseason

The Celtics managed to outlast the Toronto Raptors in a gruelling seven game series, and will now be facing the most impressive team in the playoffs thus far. The Heat beat the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks so badly that they might have convinced Giannis Antetokounmpo to take his talents to South Beach next season.

Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo will serve as an interesting foil to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Butler’s aggressiveness and Adebayo’s size can give the Boston tandem trouble in finding their shots, and if they can limit Kemba Walker’s output, they’ll maintain ball control and be able to leave the Celtics in the dust by the end of the third quarter. With Gordon Hayward not expected to return until later in this series, Boston is going to ask a lot of Marcus Smart to keep the game close.

Boston will miss Hayward's scoring and versatility

Boston is going to be hurting for Hayward here. It is hard imagining the Celtics containing Butler and company when the Bucks failed, and that was with the defensive player of the year on the floor. If the game gets close, Miami has better clutch shooters like Butler, Tyler Herro and Jae Crowder to close up shop. We’ve seen the Celtics struggle in these tight spots before, dooming them when they couldn’t close against Toronto.

Fatigue will be a factor in Game 1

As tired as the Celtics are, they’re still the more talented team on paper. The Heat were able to get the jump on an unmotivated and disheartened Bucks squad, punching them in the gut before they could recover, and they'll look to do the same against Boston. This might be too soon for the Celtics following their emotional Game 7 against the Raptors, and the Heat will try to take advantage of that.

Expect a labored Celtics squad to fall short of the rested and confident Heat, but don't expect this series to be over early.

NBA free pick: Miami moneyline

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