Celtics vs. Heat Prediction and Odds for Friday, October 21 (Celtics Should Handle Banged Up Heat)

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics looked extremely impressive in their season opener against the Philadelphia 76ers, as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both put up 35 points in the win. 

Boston gets an Eastern Conference Finals rematch against the Miami Heat on Friday. The Heat dropped their first game of the season at home to the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls, who were without Lonzo Ball and Zach LaVine, got a huge game from DeMar DeRozan in the win. 

I’m very skeptical about this Miami team after P.J. Tucker left in free agency and essentially didn’t add any new talent outside of draft pick Nikola Jovic to the roster. Victor Oladipo also missed the team’s season opener with an injury.

Can the Heat bounce back on Friday or do the rested Celtics pick up win No. 2 in the 2022-23 season?

Here are the latest odds for this ECF rematch: 

Celtics vs. Heat Odds, Spread and Total

Celtics vs. Heat Prediction and Pick

I know it’s just one game, but there’s no way I’m trusting this Miami team after the performance it put together against a shorthanded Bulls team. 

The Heat got a monster game from Max Strus off the bench, and yet that still wasn’t enough on Wednesday night. Oladipo is listed as out for Friday’s contest, leaving Miami’s bench thin once again. 

The Celtics, who added Malcolm Brogdon to their bench, should match up well with Miami even though Robert Williams III is out with a knee injury. Boston slowed down Joel Embiid with Blake Griffin, Al Horford and Noah Vonleh, so handling Bam Adebayo shouldn’t be a problem for this defense. 

Without Tucker, the Heat will rely on Caleb Martin to guard one of Tatum or Brown, and I love that matchup for Boston. 

The Celtics are a deeper team right now, and I think they pull off the road win on Friday. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record here.