The Celtics fought off elimination on Tuesday in South Beach, earning the right to go back home for another do-or-die game in Boston. Let’s breakdown some betting angles on DraftKings Sportsbook.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Miami Heat at Boston Celtics
The Celtics overcame an embarrassing Game 3 blowout loss to avoid the sweep, finally showing up in the series to earn a win. While the Celtics are as capable as anyone to overcome a 0-3 series deficit, they’re going to have to do something they’ve been poor at — winning playoff games as sizable home favorites.
Boston has been a double-digit favorite three times this postseason, losing all three of those games outright. All of those were at home, where the C’s are now just 2-5 in their last seven games. While the Celtics have been tremendous playing in elimination situations (6-1 over the last two postseasons), playing at home in Game 5 has been difficult. They’ve lost both in this postseason — one to Philly in a game they trailed by as many as 21, and one to Atlanta in a game they led by 13 in the fourth quarter. Boston also lost its only Game 5 at home last postseason — a carbon copy of the Atlanta game, blowing a 14-point fourth quarter lead to the Bucks.
For this to become a series, Boston has to prove it can protect its home court. We’ll find out if they can, but I do think they can carry some momentum from the second half of Game 4 into the early going of Game 5. Here’s a couple of ways to back that angle.
The Celtics should put up points early in this game, likely creating some margin in their favor at halftime. Boston is coming off 66 points in the second half of Game 4, finding its groove shooting the ball at the last possible moment. I like the C’s to carry some of that offensive momentum into Game 5.
After catching fire in the second half of their Game 7 win over the 76ers, the Celtics started very strong in the first half of Game 1 against Miami. Boston dropped 66 points in the first half of that game, building a nine-point lead.
Outside of the Kings (who played at a historic pace), the Celtics were the second-best first half scoring team in the league this season. Boston is averaging 61.1 points in the first half of home games (including postseason), and 60.4 in its nine postseason games at the TD Garden.
I’ve had a tough time reading this team recently. So if the C’s were to fall flat on their faces on Thursday it wouldn’t stun me. But if I come around on wagering on the game, it would be for Boston to start hot.
Grant Williams OVER 6.5 Points (-110) — 2-units
Williams has played a very inconsistent role for the Celtics during this postseason on the whole, but it feels like he’s established a larger role in this series against Miami. Projecting Williams’ point prop has much more to do with predicting his minutes than it does predicting how he plays.
Boston has now played 17 playoff games, and Williams has played 18 or more minutes just six times. However, we’ve seen him cash over 6.5 points in five of the six games that he’s been a real part of the rotation. Since Williams’ strange DNP in Game 1 of this series, he’s averaging 28 minutes per game, playing no fewer than 26 minutes in any of those three games.
While I don’t want to chase the 14-point game that Williams just put up, he was clearly a major factor in Boston’s winning effort in Game 4. There’s no reason he shouldn’t continue to see the 28-minute role he seems to have established in the rotation, which has resulted in 11.7 points over the last three games (no fewer than nine in any game).
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment.