Boston favored in Saturday’s Game 6 at Miami

Boston favored in Saturday’s Game 6 at Miami

The Eastern Conference finals are getting really interesting. Boston (67-33 straight up, 55-44-1 against the spread) thumped Miami 110-97 in Game 5 last night to cover the number as an 8.5-point home favorite.

The 207 combined points dropped ‘under’ the 214.5-point total. Both teams saw their team totals stay ‘under’ as well. The Celtics, who led 35-20 at the end of the first quarter and by 17 at halftime, covered the spread for first quarter and first-half wagers.

Derrick White scored a game-high 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field and 6-of-8 from downtown. Marcus Smart finished with 23 points, draining 7-of-12 field-goal attempts and 4-of-6 from long distance. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown scored 21 points apiece, with Tatum dishing out 11 assists and grabbing eight rebounds.

Duncan Robinson finished with 18 points, four rebounds and nine assists compared to only one turnover in the losing effort. Bam Adebayo had 16 points, eight boards, three assists, two steals and one blocked shot, but he committed six turnovers.

Jimmy Butler was held to 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals. It was the fewest points scored by Butler in these playoffs.

“Our backs are against the wall, we’re sticking together and we’re competing at a high level to give ourselves a chance,” Boston head coach Joe Mazzulla said.

Miami (56-44 SU, 42-54-2 ATS) trailed 107-88 with 3:20 left, but it went on a 9-0 run and cut Boston’s lead to 107-97 with 1:14 remaining thanks to a bucket by Robinson. At that point, an improbable backdoor cover was potentially in the works.

However, Sam Hauser shut that down on Boston’s next possession by burying a 28-footer. After Kyle Lowry missed a 3-pointer for the Heat, the Celtics dribbled out the shot clock.

Miami’s late surge did hook up its backers for second-half bets. The Heat were -1.5 at halftime while trailing by 17 (+15.5 adjusted).

As of early Friday afternoon, most books had Boston listed as a 2.5 or three-point road favorite for Saturday’s Game 6 at Miami. The total was in the 210 to 211 range, while the Heat were +120 on the money line.

The Westgate SuperBook has Miami as a -140 favorite for the adjusted series price, leaving Boston as a +120 underdog.

Boston favored in Saturday’s Game 6 at Miami

Denver is a -175 ‘chalk’ to win the 2023 NBA Finals. The Celtics have +275 odds and Miami is at +550.

Miami is 34-16 SU and 20-27-1 ATS at home this season, while Boston is 30-19 SU and 26-22-1 ATS in 49 road assignments. The Heat are 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS in eight home games in the playoffs.

Miami is hoping to become just the second No. 8 seed in NBA history (the 98-99 Knicks were the other) to advance to the NBA Finals. Meanwhile, Boston is trying to become the first team in league history to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a postseason series.

TNT will provide Saturday’s Game 6 telecast at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

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