We wonder if the Miami Heat are coming out of nowhere as far as some people are concerned. Clearly they don’t have as many marquee players as most other teams have, and therefore they don’t get as much attention. But they have out together an ensemble behind underrated coach Erik Spoelstra, who has this team on the verge of going to the NBA Finals. Of course, we don’t want to jinx them, as they have two more victories to go. But they have the Boston Celtics on the ropes and fighting with each other in the locker room.
Game 3 is slated for 8:30 PM ET in the bubble on ESPN. And if you are a BetAnySports customer, you can place wagers on this game as it is happening, thanks to what is available through the facilities of Sports Betting Prime.
Miami didn’t necessarily shoot any better than Boston in Game 2. What they got was a 37-point explosion in the third quarter, while the Celtics were sleeping, which turned a 13-point deficit into a seven-point lead. After the 106-101 defeat, the Celts had some confrontations in the locker room, with Marcus Smart calling his teammates out. Coach Brad Stevens later smoothed things over with several team members.
One contributing factor was the turnover comparison, where Miami forced 20 and committed only nine. And the Celtics, who blew a 17-point lead on Thursday, can’t match the Heat in bench strength.
BetAnySports currently has Miami as the -310 favorite to win the series (Boston is +255). In the Game 3 NBA playoff betting odds, the Celtics are laying points:
Boston Celtics -3
Miami Heat +3
Over 207.5 points -110
Under 207.5 points -110
And sure, we understand that bettors may feel the Celtics couldn’t possibly give away Game 3. But they could.
After all, they have not had an answer for Goran Dragic. We may have told you a little about this situation. The fact is, Miami’s fortunes took a very positive turn when Spoelstra made the decision to make Dragic a starter again. He averaged 21 points a game coming into this series, and he’s had outbursts of 29 and 25 points in the first two games. Between him, Jae Crowder and Duncan Robinson, they’ve hit 22 of 51 shots from downtown.
Dragic is forcing the Heat into what might be a difficult decision once the season is over. He is slated to be a free agent, but he is also going to be 34 years old. If he had not shown how much value he actually has in the playoffs, the decision as to whether to try and re-sign him may have been different. But he had indicated a willingness to come off the bench before he replaced Kendrick Nunn in the starting lineup, and who knows how far he can take them.
Tyler Herro has missed the mark from three-point range (just 3 of 13), but not Duncan Robinson, the undrafted sharpshooter out of Michigan who has taken all 19 of his field goals attempts from beyond the arc (he’s 42%). Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker have to do better then the 9-of-34 they have made in triples thus far.
Coach Stevens is hoping that Gordon Hayward, who has been sitting with an ankle injury, can play in Game 3. The Celtics already have four players averaging at least 19.5 points over these two games; what they really need is someone who can handle Dragic. And Hayward is probably not prepared to offer help in that regard.
So we don’t have any problem grabbing the points with the Heat. The money line may come into play as well. But we will couple this with the total. Neither team is ice cold, and they know how to get good shots. If Hayward’s presence gives Boston some more efficiency out of the overall rotation, so be it. But they’ll be compromised a bit more on the defensive end. OVER as well.
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