Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics 4/21/24 Free Pick, NBA Odds, NBA Predictions

Miami Heat (46-36) at Boston Celtics (64-18)

Game Info: Sunday, April 21st, 2024 at  1 p.m. EST (TD Garden)

Betting Odds: Celtics -14.5 (-105) - Over/Under (209.5)

Pick: Celtics -14.5 (-105)

Game one of the opening round of this Eastern Conference playoff series will take place here on Sunday afternoon in Boston. As the Miami Heat are coming off of their play-in round victory over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. Meanwhile, this will be the first playoff game for Boston. These two teams have plenty of history in the postseason over the last few years. As Miami knocked out a heavily favored Boston team on multiple occasions of the last couple of seasons, and they have gone back-and-forth several times. This should be a solid game here on Sunday afternoon as the winning team tries to gain the upper hand heading into the rest of the series with a victory here in this one.

It was a rather underwhelming season for the Miami Heat, and they had to survive the opening round of the playoffs to advance to this round against Boston. Now they will look to keep that momentum rolling after their solid victory on Friday night and they will look to grab a victory here in game number one of this series at TD Garden. Miami has given Boston plenty of fits in the postseason over the last several years, and that is a trend they will look to keep alive with another great performance and a victory here on Friday. 

They are heavy underdogs coming into the series much like they were last season when they upset the number one seed Milwaukee Bucks  in the first round. That is something they will look to replicate this time around, as Miami comes into this series confident that they can get the job done for the second year in a row. However, this time around they will be without Jimmy Butler after he suffered an injury in their loss on Wednesday night in the play-in round. That is a serious blow for Miami, which means Tyler Herro and Bam Adeybao will have to step up and put up incredible performances throughout this game in this series.

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The Boston Celtics put together an incredible regular season, and now they will look to carry that momentum over into the postseason. After being upset by the Miami Heat in the third round of the playoffs last season, they will face off with Miami once again for the second season in a row. Boston had aspirations of making it all the way to the NBA finals last season before the number eight seed Miami ruined that for them and now Boston will look to avoid that for the second consecutive season. 

This time around they will meet in the opening round of the postseason rather than the Eastern Conference finals. Boston has looked like one of the odds on title favorites from the east all season long and they will hope that performance carries over into the postseason. With guys like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown remaining healthy throughout the year, and a tough supporting cast Boston should have no problem in this series against Miami. Especially without Jimmy Butler in the lineup for the Miami Heat due to his injury last week. That is something to exploit if they want to be successful throughout this series as the Celtics will take a command one to nothing lead heading into the second game of the series here at home on Sunday afternoon. 

Betting trends to consider in this matchup:

- Boston is 37-4 at home 

- Boston is 3-0 against Miami 

- Boston is 63-16 as a favorite

I look for this to be a close and competitive game throughout the early stages of the contest on Sunday afternoon. In the end, I look for the Boston Celtics to pull away and win this game by a sizable margin with the absence of Jimmy Butler holding Miami back. I look for Boston to put together a comfortable lead midway through the fourth quarter and I expect them to cover the spread in this game on Sunday afternoon as well. 

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