Boston Celtics, Miami Heat Only One Win Away from NBA Finals

Posted on: May 29, 2023, 10:47h. 

Last updated on: May 29, 2023, 11:39h.

The Boston Celtics host the Miami Heat Monday night in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, with a trip to the NBA Finals at stake.

Derrick White Celtics
Guard Derrick White (9) from the Boston Celtics is seen here moments before he hits a game-winning shot to lead the Celtics to victory against the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. (Image: AP)

The Denver Nuggets swept the Los Angeles Lakers last Monday to win the Western Conference Finals. The Nuggets eagerly await the winner of the Heat/Celtics in the 2023 NBA Finals.

The Heat blew a 3-0 lead in the series, and missed three chances to clinch the conference crown and punch their ticket to the NBA Finals.

The Celtics erased a 0-3 deficit by winning three-straight elimination games to force a Game 7.  Guard Derrick White hit a put-back shot at the buzzer to stave off elimination in Game 6.

The Celtics are flirting with NBA history. They attempt to become first team to storm back and win a best-of-seven series after falling behind 3-0. Teams that opened a 3-0 lead in the NBA playoffs have a 150-0 series record. The Celtics are one victory away from pulling off a miraculous comeback.

Game 7 Reprise

The Heat and Celtics met in the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in the last four seasons. This is also a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals.

In 2020, the Heat defeated the Celtics in six games to win the Eastern Conference Finals and secure a trip to the NBA Finals. The Los Angeles Lakers denied the Heat a championship, and the LeBron James won his first title with the Lakers.

In 2022, the Celtics needed seven games to knock out the Heat and win the Eastern Conference title. The Heat were down 3-2 in the series, but went on the road to win Game 6 in Boston, thanks to a 47-point explosion from Jimmy Butler. The Heat hosted the Celtics in Game 7, but the Celtics stunned them with a road victory to clinch the Eastern Conference crown. Butler missed a chance to seal a win for the Heat when he missed a 3-pointer late in Game 7. The Celtics advanced to the 2022 NBA Finals, but lost to the Golden State Warriors in the championship series.

For a second postseason in a row, the Heat and Celtics meet in a seventh game of the Eastern Conference Finals to determine who will advance to the NBA Finals. In this instance, the Celtics are the home team in a decisive Game 7.

The Celtics finished the 2022-23 season as the second-best team in the Eastern Conference, which earned them the #2 seed in the playoffs. The Heat finished in seventh place in the standings, and had to earn a playoff seed through the Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament. They missed a chance at the #7 seed when they lost to the Atlanta Hawks, but secured the #8 seed by defeating the Chicago Bulls.

Betting the Heat/Celtics in Game 7

Oddsmakers installed the Celtics as -8.5 favorite. Early money backed the Heat at +8.5, and the line moved a full point by Sunday morning. By Monday morning, the line moved another half-point. The Celtics are currently -7 favorites.

The Heat have a 4-2 record against the point spread in this series. The Heat are also 4-1 ATS when they’re installed as an underdog against the Celtics.

The Celtics opened this series as the betting favorite at -525 odds at DraftKings to win back-to-back Eastern Conference titles. The Heat were an underdog to defeat the Celtics at +400 odds.

After the Heat jumped out to a 3-0 series lead, they were a huge favorite at -1200 odds to win the series. The Celtics were the underdog at +900 odds after they fell into a dreaded 0-3 hole.

With the conference finals tied at 3-3, the Celtics are currently the betting favorite to win the series at -295 odds. The Heat are the underdog to win the series at +245 odds.

DraftKings has a look-ahead series line for the 2023 NBA Finals. The Celtics would get installed as the betting favorite to defeat the Denver Nuggets at -115 odds. The Nuggets are not far behind the Celtics at -105 odds to win their first championship.

If the Heat defeat the Celtics in Game 7 to reach the 2023 NBA Finals, then the Heat would be installed as an underdog against the Nuggets. The Nuggets are -330 odds to defeat the Heat in the NBA Finals, and the Heat are an underdog at +265 odds.

The Nuggets are currently -130 odds to win the 2022-23 NBA championship, according to DraftKings’ futures board. The Celtics are +130 odds to win the championship, and the Heat are +1300 odds.