Update: Butler has been ruled out Sunday and is dealing with a death in the family, according to a statement released by his agent. The star forward has been granted a leave of absence by the Heat. The Celtics are now 7.5-point favorites and the total sits at 225. I still like the under on the total, but I think the Heat are a shell of themselves without Butler. I’ll take Boston to cover on the road.
One of the best recent rivalries in the NBA will be on display Sunday afternoon as the Boston Celtics (40-12) head down to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat (28-24). These teams have featured in three of the last four Eastern Conference Finals series, with the Heat holding a 2-1 edge there. The Celtics have won three in a row and hold a 2-0 lead in the season series, while Miami enters this contest on a two-game winning streak itself.
The Celtics are relatively clean on the injury front, with only Jaden Springer and Xavier Tillman out. Star forward Jimmy Butler is listed as questionable for the Heat due to personal reasons.
The Celtics are 5.5-point favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total coming in at 227. Boston is -218 on the moneyline while Miami is +180.
Celtics vs. Heat, 2 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Heat +5.5
Boston has covered this line in both meetings against Miami this season, with the last contest resulting in a 33-point win for the Celtics. They are 10-12-2 ATS as the road team this season and have only covered once in the last seven games. Conversely, the Heat have covered their spreads in four of the last five games.
Miami has not been great at home this season but the Heat are starting to figure things out with their rotation. If Butler doesn’t play I think the Celtics are worth backing but as long as the forward does suit up, I like the Heat to cover in this afternoon contest.
Over/Under: Under 227
The Celtics are 26-26 on overs this season, and that number goes to 12-12 on overs as the road team. The Heat are 21-31 to the over on the season and 13-14 to the over at home. Boston is 4-6 to the over in the last 10 games while Miami is 3-7 to the over in the same stretch. Even though both previous matchups went over this line, I like the under on Sunday afternoon in South Beach.