Celtics vs. Heat Prediction and Odds for Game 2 (Boston Due for Bounce-Back Game)

Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum.
Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum. / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Eastern Conference Finals got off to an unusual start, as Al Horford and Marcus Smart ended up missing Game 1 for the Boston Celtics, who wilted down the stretch against the Miami Heat. 

Miami rode a huge 22-2 run to start the third quarter to a Game 1 win, and the Heat could be in a good spot to take Game 2 as well with Horford looking unlikely to play. Smart, however, could return for Boston. 

The Celtics were actually up eight at the half, but they had shot nearly 60 percent from the field to get to that point. Jayson Tatum ended up struggling in the second half, finishing the game with seven turnovers, and Jimmy Butler (41 points) controlled the entire second half for Miami

Game 1 went way over the projected total of 204, finishing with 225 combined points, but do things come back to earth if Smart returns?

Let’s break down the odds for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals via WynnBET

Celtics vs. Heat Odds, Spread and Total


  • Celtics +4 (-108)
  • Heat -4 (-108)


  • Celtics: +152
  • Heat: -185


  • 207 (Over -108/Under -108)

Celtics vs. Heat Prediction and Pick

I trusted Boston in Game 1 prior to the Smart and Horford news, and their absences proved to be huge in the game. 

The Celtics are a great defensive team, but when you are down two of your best defenders when you already have a short rotation, you’re asking for trouble. 

Boston is going to need at least one of these guys to return to give Miami trouble, as the Heat were able to keep coming with fresh bodies in Game 1 against a tired Celtics team. 

Still, Boston hung around late, staying within 10 points for most of the fourth quarter. That doesn’t seem like much with a spread at +4, but the Celtics should be at least a few points better with more Marcus Smart on defense and less Payton Pritchard. 

Butler put on a monster performance, something we haven’t seen consistently from stars against this Celtics defense, and I think Smart could help limit him a bit in Game 2. I am also encouraged by how healthy Robert Williams (18 points, nine rebounds, two blocks) looked in Game 1. 

I still think this series is going to be close, so with Smart looking likely for Game 2, I’ll lean with Boston and the points. 

Lean: Celtics +4 (-108)

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record in the NBA this season here.