Heat vs. Celtics NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 2 odds, trends: Miami taking solid spread lean, surprising prop action on Caleb Martin
The Miami Heat won Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Boston as 8-point underdogs, so it might puzzle the casual bettor why the Celtics are now 9-point home favorites for Game 2 Friday night. At BetMGM, the Heat are taking a solid against-the-spread lean as they did in the opener, and one of the most-wagered player props so far is on Miami reserve Caleb Martin, which is unusual. Click here for model picks.
As of this writing, the Celtics are taking 31% of the bets and 45% of the money ATS. On the total of 214.5, 81% of the bets and 78% of the money are on the Over. Miami is +310 on the moneyline and taking 79% of the bets and 64% of the money.
Miami is an NBA-best 9-3 ATS in the postseason following the 123-116 win in Game 1. The Heat lost three of the four quarters but outscored Boston by 21 in the third. Since the 2020 bubble playoffs, the Heat have now won seven playoff games in which they lost three of the four quarters. The rest of the NBA has seven such wins combined.
The Heat are only the fifth team in league history to win three straight Game 1s on the road in a single postseason, along with the 2021 Hawks, 1999 Knicks, 1989 Bulls and 1981 Rockets (none won the NBA Finals). Those Knicks are the only No. 8 seed to ever reach the NBA Finals, which Miami is trying to match.
Game 1 was Boston's 26th defeat as a favorite this season, easily the most in the NBA. Coach Joe Mazzulla's team has been very good after a home loss in these playoffs, going 3-0 (one victory vs. Atlanta, two vs. Philadelphia) and winning by an average of 17.0 points.
The last 16 Game 2s overall in the NBA playoffs for which the road team won Game 1 have been won by the home team, with the average margin of victory at 17.3 points.
The most popular player props so far are: Caleb Martin Over 15.5 combined points, rebounds and assists at -105; Al Horford to score the game's first field goal at +1200; Jayson Tatum Over 29.5 points at -125; Derrick White Over 8.5 points at -110; and Jimmy Butler Over 40.5 combined points, rebounds and assists.
We can't really explain why Martin is on that list, but he played well in the opener with 15 points, four rebounds and three assists. He might get more minutes going forward if Duncan Robinson has fallen back out of the rotation, which looked possible in the second half of Game 1. If you are wondering, Miami's Bam Adebayo made the first basket of the opener.
Tatum finished with 30 points in Game 1 despite not getting a single shot attempt in the fourth quarter, which was a major talking point afterward (he did have six points via free throws). According to ESPN, Game 1 featured Tatum's second-fewest touches (13) and dribbles (34) in a fourth quarter this postseason.
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