Matchup: Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat
Date/Time: Friday, April 12, 2013 8:00 p.m. (ET)
NBA Betting Odds: VietBet
Pointspread: Heat -5.5
Total Line: 196.5
Boston has pretty much settled into the seventh playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 2.5-game gap with sixth-place Chicago and Atlanta and a three-game lead over Milwaukee, which is in eighth. It has gone just 2-4 straight-up and 1-5 against the spread in its last six games which is not the best form to have heading into the postseason. This will be the first of two-straight games on the road where the Celtics have gone 13-25 SU and 13-24-1 ATS this season. The total has gone OVER in three of their last five games.
The good news for Boston heading into the playoffs is the fact that it is about as healthy as it has been all season long. However, in an effort to get its stars some much needed rest both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are listed as ‘out’ making it all the more difficult to try and steal a win on the road against the NBA’s top team. The Celtics will have a tough time running with the Heat on the scoreboard, so look for their defense to try and put the clamps on one of the highest scoring teams in the league. Boston is ranked 10th in the NBA in points allowed; giving-up an average of 96.5 points a game.
It is hard to know what and who to expect from Miami come Friday night with the entire Big Three listed on the current injury report. Dwyane Wade will most likely miss his seventh-straight start due to injuries to his right knee and ankle while Chris Bosh (knee) and LeBron James (hamstring) remain day-to-day for this contest. Given that the Heat (62-16 SU and 43-35 ATS) have already locked-up the top seed in the East and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs there is little reason for them to take any chances with their top three players.
Even with this much talent and production on the shelf, Miami continues to win games. Since the Bulls brought their incredible 27-game winning streak to an end on March 27, the Heat have gone 6-1 both SU and ATS. Most recently, they rolled over the Bucks 94-83 as 6.5-point home favorites and beat Washington 103-98 as rare 3.5-point road underdogs.
Free NBA Pick
The actual pointspread for this game will remain up in the air until Miami’s injury situation sorts itself out, but regardless of which players are in the starting lineup for either team, the American Airlines Arena remains a very difficult place to get a win. If Boston was playing for something things might be different, but seeing how there is nothing on the line for either team, stick with the Heat to win and cover at home.
Miami 96 Boston 90
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.