Boston (66-33 straight up, 54-44-1 against the spread) staved off elimination Tuesday night in South Florida, winning 116-99 as a one or 1.5-point road underdog in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. The 215 combined points slithered ‘under’ the 216.5-point total.
Miami actually took the cash for first quarter and first-half wagers, building a 56-50 advantage going into halftime. However, after the Heat’s Max Strus buried a 3-pointer to give his team a 61-52 lead, Boston ripped off an 18-0 run to take control.
Erik Spoelstra’s team cut the Celtics’ lead to five at 88-83 in the fourth quarter, only to see them counter with a 12-0 surge to put the game on ice.
Jayson Tatum was the catalyst for the winners, producing 33 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, two blocked shots and one steal. Five other Celtics were in double figures, including Jaylen Brown (17 points), Derrick White (16), Grant Williams (14), Al Horford (12) and Marcus Smart (11).
Horford had seven rebounds, one block and four assists without a turnover. He hit three treys in the first half to help keep Boston within reach.
As of late Tuesday night, most books had the Celtics listed as eight-point home favorites for Game 5 back in Beantown. The total was 215 points and the Heat were +250 on the money line.
By this morning, though, the line had moved to 7.5 at most spots, with the total inching up to 215.5 points. The Heat were anywhere from +230 (BetOnline) to +255 (Circa) to become only the second eighth seed (the 1998-99 Knicks who lost to the Spurs) to make the NBA Finals with a victory tomorrow night.
No team in NBA postseason history has ever rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a series, but that’s what Boston is hoping to do. With last night’s victory, the Westgate SuperBook has updated the series price to Miami -300, leaving the Celtics as +240 underdogs.
Denver is the -200 ‘chalk’ to win the NBA Finals. The Heat have +375 odds and Boston is at +450.