The Boston Celtics (57-25, 32-9 home) return home and look to keep the Eastern Conference series alive against the Miami Heat (44-38, 17-24 away). Boston held off elimination with a 116-99 victory in Game 4 on Tuesday to extend the series and return to Boston.
Thursday’s tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. EST inside TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston is an 8.5-point favorite, and the over/under total is 215.5 points.
What to Know – Miami Heat
The Heat are a game away from moving on to the NBA Finals after building up a quick 3-0 advantage in the series. If Miami were to win Game 5, the Heat would advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2020 inside the Florida bubble.
Since the playoffs began, the Heat are averaging 113.8 points per game on offense while shooting 47.7% from the floor and 38.0% from deep. Miami’s defense is allowing 109.1 ppg to opposing teams, holding opponents to 45.9% shooting from the field and 33.5% from three.
Jimmy Butler continues to shine for the Heat in the postseason, averaging 29.9 ppg. The veteran guard is connecting on 50.5% of his attempts from the field while adding 6.9 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. Six other contributors for the Heat are scoring in double figures this postseason.
Miami is 42-54-3 against the spread this season and 22-26-1 ATS on the road. The Heat have covered the spread in five of their last six matchups against the Celtics.
What to Know – Boston Celtics
Boston’s Game 4 kept the Celtics alive, clinging to a sliver of hope that the team could become the first in NBA history to come back from down 3-0 in a best-of-seven game series. The Celtics have dropped the first two games of the series at home and are only 4-5 on their home hardwood during the postseason.
On offense, the Celtics score 114.2 ppg thanks to a 48.3% shooting effort from the field and 37.9% from beyond the arc. Boston’s defense is surrendering 109.9 ppg, allowing 45.6% shooting from the floor and 36.7% from the 3-point line.
After scoring only 14 points in the Game 3 loss, Jayson Tatum responded with a 33-point effort in Tuesday’s victory and has led the Celtics in scoring in all four games of the Eastern Conference Finals. Tatum (28.1 ppg) and Jaylen Brown (22.8 ppg) are the two primary producers for Boston’s offense.
Against the spread the Celtics are 54-44-1 and 28-22 on their home floor. Boston is 2-4 ATS over its last six contests playing as the favorite.
The Pick is In
The Game 4 victory might have woken the Celtics up and given Boston hope for a historical comeback in the series. Miami has some injury concerns, specifically with role players Gabe Vincent and Kyle Lowry, that are concerning. Boston is the better team, and they keep the series going with a double-digit victory at home.
The Pick: Boston Celtics -8.5