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Miami Heat at Boston Celtics Game 4 Betting Preview

If past trends continue to hold up, the Boston Celtics should be in line for a win on Monday night as their Eastern Conference Finals matchup with the Miami Heat heads to Game 4. Boston alternated wins and losses over the first six games of their semifinals matchup with the Bucks, and that same pattern has emerged over the first three with Miami.

The Heat have to be happy with themselves, taking back home-court advantage with Saturday’s 109-103 win on the road even without Jimmy Butler, who sat out the second half with right knee inflammation. Butler’s status for Monday is still uncertain, and the fact that the Celtics are still -6.5 favorites in Game 4 might suggest he is unavailable.

Adebayo Stepping Up

Butler had gone for 41 and 29 points in the first two games of the series, so one would figure that losing him the final 48 minutes of Saturday’s matchup would doom Miami. Being up 62-47 at halftime certainly helped the Heat’s cause, but so did Bam Adebayo having a breakout game with 31 points, ten rebounds, and six assists.

Saturday’s performance is a nice confidence builder for Adebayo, but it also came with Boston missing their big man Robert Williams III who is expected back in some capacity on Monday night. Adebayo averaged just 8.0 ppg the first two matchups of the series when Williams was in the lineup.

If Butler cannot go on Monday and Adebayo is contained by Williams’ return, Miami is going to need more out of Tyler Herro, who had just eight points on Saturday. Victor Oladipo also followed up a solid Game 2 performance of 14 points with just five at TD Garden.

Injury Questions Again for Boston

Boston thought they put the series-opening 118-107 loss behind them, writing that defeat off to a short turnaround from Sunday’s Game 7 win over Milwaukee while also not having Al Horford (health and safety) and Marcus Smart (foot).

Horford and Smart returned in Game 2, and it showed as Boston stole home-court advantage with a dominant 127-102 win. Of course, that advantage was returned in Saturday’s loss, and at the same time, the Defensive Player of the Year Smart is banged up again (questionable-ankle), and now it’s Williams also questionable on the post instead of Horford.

There’s something Jayson Tatum doesn’t like about Game 3 matchups, as he had just 10 points vs. the Bucks last round and another ten vs. the Heat on Saturday on 3-14 shooting. Jaylen Brown picked up the slack with 40, but Boston still needs a bounce-back game from Tatum on Monday night.

Heat/Celtics Betting Prediction

Do teams get complacent once they regain the home-court advantage, or does the other squad just ratchet things down that much more because they know their backs are against the wall?

Either way, Miami is now in control of things which hasn’t been the ideal spot to be in this series.

Does Erik Spoelstra save Butler for the trip back to Miami? It wouldn’t be the craziest idea in the world and would definitely give Boston a huge advantage in this spot.

While the Celtics likely rebound and get the win here because the NBA would love to see this series draw out, Boston has some question marks with the health of Smart, Williams, and even Tatum (shoulder), so 6.5 points is too many.

Betting Pick: Heat +6.5

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