NBA Betting: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat

NBA Betting:  Boston Celtics at Miami Heat

NBA Eastern Conference action on Tuesday night as the Boston Celtics head to South Florida to take on the defending NBA champion Miami Heat. At first glance this has the makings of a profound mismatch. The Celtics are in their first year under new head coach (and former Butler coach) Brad Stevens. They’re currently out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture with a 14-28 record. That leaves them 19 1/2 games behind first place Indiana but just 3 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot. Miami is currently in 2nd place with a 29-11 record but there’s every reason to think that they’re just in ‘cruise control’ until the playoffs begin and that they haven’t played their best basketball yet.

In fact, the disperate goals and mindsets of the teams involved form the primary crux of this handicap. The Heat will be returning home after a six game road trip. It started poorly with 3 straight SU/ATS losses but Miami recovered to win and cover the following two games with the outcome of Monday’s contest with Atlanta still pending. In theory, the Heat should be in “revenge mode” following an upset to this Celtics team earlier this season but that’s just not how this team operates mentally. We have no doubt Miami will be ready to play when the playoffs begin but this has all the makings of a ‘playing out the string’ contest.

In addition to Miami being in the ‘first game home after a long road trip’ spot they just haven’t been a very good investment at home lately. Miami is 7-12 ATS at home this season and has failed to cover 7 of their last 10 games. The Celtics aren’t a good road team (5-16 SU) but have been surprisingly competitive away from home going 11-10 ATS. The Heat have become a notoriously slow starting team in most games–betting against them in the first half has become rote for many handicappers. Obviously the Heat have the talent to obliterate the Celtics should they desire to do so but given what we know about the situation and this team’s mental approach to meaningless regular season games we’d much rather have the hard trying visitors.