NBA Eastern Conference Finals series predictions: Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) passes the ball away from Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams (12) during the first half at FTX Arena.
Photo of Filip Tomic

Filip Tomic

NBA · 1 month ago

Show Bio

Long time NBA fan, have been following the game closely for 21 years now. Joining the Pickswise writing staff for the 2020-21 season. Hopefully we can make some money together! Oh, and I firmly believe Lebron James is not one of the two best basketball players of all time. Yeah, I said it.

And then there were two…. The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will battle it out for a place in the NBA Finals in what will be a re-match of the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals.

Will the Celtics get revenge for that loss in the bubble? Or will the Heat book a place in the finals for the 2nd time in 3 seasons?

Let’s break down this series!

Miami Heat analysis: Can Jimmy Butler keep carrying the offense?

After averaging just 21.4 points per game during the regular season, Butler has really stepped up during this postseason run and is basically carrying the Heat offense on his own. He is putting up 28.7 points per game on better than 52% shooting from the field and 36% from three while also hitting 80% of his free-throws. The Heat are so reliant on Butler that when he is off the floor their offensive rating drops from 120.1 to 104.4 making them a bottom 5 team in the conference. The same goes for their Net Rating, which drops from a +16.2 to -3.7 when Butler isn’t playing.

The Heat might be too reliant on their superstar and that could become an issue in this series because they are yet to face a team with the perimeter defense as good as that of the Celtics. Way better offensive players like Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo have had problems scoring against them, so I’m interested to see how Butler reacts to everything the Celtics throw at him.

Don’t forget to check our Game 1 Predictions for Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat

Boston Celtics analysis: Jayson Tatum is growing up, but….

Right now, the way Tatum is playing I’d argue he is the 2nd-best player left in these playoffs behind Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks. After dropping 30+ in 3 consecutive games against the Bucks, including 46 in Game 6 on the road facing elimination, Tatum has once again proved his future is very bright in this league.

However, facing Miami hasn’t been a pleasant experience during the regular season. In 3 meetings he averaged just 17.7 points on 42% shooting from the field and just 29% from three-point land. In the lone game played in Miami he had just 10 points on 3-for-13 shooting from the field. Was that just a fluke, or do the Heat have him figured out? Only time will tell, but I am really excited to see how he adjusts his game for this series.

What will be the deciding factors of Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat?

One deciding factor will definitely be the Celtics’ three-point shooting. In the series against the Bucks they made 53 more shots from beyond the arc and as we saw in Game 7 that was the difference — along with the Celtics’ depth. Coming into this series Boston is averaging 14.5 threes compared to Miami’s 11.2 per game. They also have the edge in accuracy, making 37% of their long-range shots, while Miami is at just 32.1% — which ranks 13th out of the 16 teams that made the postseason.

Depth is another area where I feel like the Celtics have the edge. Miami went through the Hawks and Sixers without doing deep into its bench. Players like Duncan Robinson weren’t used very often and that could come to haunt them as this series progresses. On the other hand, the Celtics just had a rookie lead them in scoring in a Game 7 against the defending champions. Grant Williams probably played the game of his life on Sunday, scoring 27 points, and on top of that the Celtics are also likely getting Robert Williams III back from injury. Therefore I’m giving them the edge in the depth department.

Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat series prediction: Celtics 4-2

Losing 4-2 in the bubble will certainly be on the minds of the Celtics players, as the core of that team is pretty much unchanged and that’s one motivating factor the Heat don’t have. Health could also play a big part in the series, Miami is already rumored to be without Kyle Lowry in Game 1, he hasn’t been himself in the first two series. Tyler Herro is also another guy who has been inconsistent, which is a big blow because he lead the Heat in scoring during the regular season. To me, Boston looks like a well-oiled machine and its defense has been unmatched over the past 4 months or so.

I’m picking the Celtics to come out of the series, but they will need to win at least once in Miami since the Heat have home-court advantage.

Back Boston Celtics to win series 4-2 at +290 on FanDuel.

Pickswise is the home of free NBA picks and predictions. Make sure to also check out our NBA parlays and NBA prop bets tabs for more expert picks.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook

$200

Bet $5, Win $200 In Free Bets!

Sign up for a new account with FanDuel Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any sport, any market

Win $200 in free bets regardless if your bet wins or loses

Must be 21 years or over to participate. Reward paid in site credit. Offer valid for new players only. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 Risk-Free Bets!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on Any MLB Game, Get $200 if Your Team Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $200 in free bets + any cash winnings from your original wager

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Risk-Free Bets!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,500

Get up to $1,500 Risk-Free First Bet!

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Make your first deposit of $50+

If your first bet is not a winner, get it all back as a free bet (up to $1,100) if you lose!

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.

PointsBet

$100

Bet $100 Risk-Free on every NBA Finals Game

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Each NBA Finals game, your first Fixed Odds bet on the game will be Risk-Free up to $100

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.