NBA Betting – Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics Game One Preview

NBA PlayoffsThe Boston Celtics are a couple of seasons removed from their NBA Finals run in 2008, and with a core group of players that isn’t going to get any younger, the time is now if the Celtics want to make another run for the title. Ray Allen will be a free agent this summer, Kevin Garnett has struggled with injuries much more than he has in the past, and head coach Doc Rivers has cited personal family matters as the reason why he is leaning towards leaving the team after this season. Should Boston go on another run, it will need its big three of Allen, Garnett, and Paul Pierce to be healthy and consistent, while getting greater contributions from guard Rajon Rondo and center Rasheed Wallace. The first opponent in the way of the Celtics’ NBA championship odds title ambitions is the Miami Heat.

Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics

Saturday April 17, 2010

Best Online Sports Book Odds: Celtics -300

On the playoff bubble with just over a month to go in the NBA regular season, Miami heated up over its final 22 games, going 18-4 down the stretch to finish fifth in the Eastern conference. The Heat came together as a unit, and put forth a much more concerted effort as a defensive unit, which they feel is the biggest reason for the turnaround, although a soft schedule was also a big part of it. Still, Miami had to win the games, and that is something that the Celtics didn’t do much of down the stretch. After starting the season 18 games above .500, Boston went just 27-27 after the Christmas break to hold rank in the fourth playoff spot.

Home-court advantage all but disappeared during that time, and the Celtics finished with the 15th best home record in the association. Boston has won 18 of its past 22 at home however, and after sweeping the Heat with three wins in the season series, will look to continue its home dominance in the postseason. While Dwayne Wade was responsible for 40-percent of Miami’s points, the Celtics have the weapons to spread the ball around and play both down low, and shoot the long ball. With a bench that includes key weapons in Wallace and trade-acquisition Nate Robinson, Boston is a deeper sports betting team that has more playoff experience, and will re-establish home court advantage immediately with a Game One win.

Pick: Celtics – 300

Over/Under NBA Betting Lines: O/U – 190

For all of the offensive talent that they boast, the Celtics actually finished the season ranked 19 in points per game with an average of 99.22. Miami’s average number was actually less than that at 96.51, an indication of how these teams won games this season. While the playoffs are different, the number is a little high for teams that haven’t scored much during this season, which is why this game will stay under.

Pick: Under - 190

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