The Boston Celtics will play the Miami Heat in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics overcame the 76ers in their semi-final, while the Heat defeated the New York Knicks in theirs. Boston are the overwhelming favorites, and in our latest NBA betting picks, we look ahead to the series, and tell you who we believe is going to win.
The series starts on Wednesday – a full 24 hours after the Nuggets vs the Lakers get going – and the best NBA playoffs betting sites don’t see the Celtics having any problems retaining the title they won last year against the same opponents. Last year, the series went down to the wire, with the Celtics winning 4-3. For a repeat scoreline to happen, BetOnline is offering +350.
In the betting just to win the series, the odds on the current conference champions is far shorter. On the moneyline, the Boston Celtics are -525 to win and take their place in their second successive NBA Championship Finals. If you believe there will be a shock winner, you can get a massive +420 on the Heat to get revenge for last year’s defeat at this same stage.
And it’s not just in the betting to win the conference that Joe Mazzulla’s team is favorite. The Celtics are also favorites to win the NBA Championship. At the moment, the Celtics are +105, just ahead of the Nuggets at +225, and the Lakers at +290. The Miami Heat are the major outsiders at +1700.
More betting can be found on our NBA odds table. The odds shown are taken from the best NBA betting sites, which you can read more about on our best online sportsbook reviews page.
|2023 NBA Championship Winner Betting|
The 4-3 win for the Celtics over the 76ers was probably a harder series than the Celtics expected it to be. In fact, after Game 5, the Celtics were in a spot of bother at 3-2 down in the series and in danger of elimination.
Game 6 was in Philadelphia, and that was the opportunity that the 76ers had to grasp. Win that at home, and they’re in the conference final. But they couldn’t, and the Celtics won an edgy contest 95-86, and took the series to a decider at TD Garden.
And as series deciders go, this was a seriously one sided match. Led by a magnificent 51 points from Jayson Tatum, the Celtics absolutely blew away the 76ers in Game 7, winning 112-88. Already in a three points lead, the real damage occurred in the third period, where Boston racked up 33 points to Philadelphia’s ten. There was no real way back for the 76ers after that.
This form should be enough to defeat the Heat and win the conference. But we feel the Celtics will need to step it up a level to win the NBA Championship.
And what of the Miami Heat! Are they just grateful to have gotten this far? Or will last year’s Eastern Conference beaten finalists be looking to go one better this year and beat the Celtics? We’re pretty sure they will want to go further, but can they?
They’ve been on one hell of a run, that’s for sure. First, they had to beat the Bulls (102-91) in the play-in. They then faced the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1st Round, and astonishingly they saw off the 2021 NBA Champions in just five games.
After that, surely they could beat anybody? Standing in their way was the New York Knicks, and they were swept aside in six matches in their conference semi-final. But is that as good as it gets for Miami? Well, it would appear that’s what the best sites for NBA betting think.
Yes, the bookmakers have the Celtics at -525 to win the series, they clearly don’t see any problems for the Boston men. While in the betting to win the opening match at TD Garden, the Celtics are -350 on the moneyline, with the Heat at +280. On the handicap spread, the Celtics are giving away 7.5 points, both franchises are -110 on either side of this bet. On the total points spread, the mark is set at 210, with both over and under at -110.
For us, we just don’t see the Heat winning this. At odds of -525, the Celtics are too short. But if you’re after a sure fire bet, this looks it. We’re looking at alternative markets for our picks though, and it looks like hedging is the name of the game here. In the series score props market, the Celtics are +225 to win 4-1, and +325 to win 4-2.
We can see the Celtics winning this convincingly. If anything, our biggest worry about this bet is a 4-0 scoreline (+450). But the problem with including 4-0 in our hedge, is it means our bet on 4-1 would be a loser. So we’re just going with 4-1 and 4-2 as our picks in this series. A 4-1 win for Boston gives us a small profit, while a 4-2 scoreline would see a nice win.