NBA Betting Preview: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat

By: Adam Markowitz | Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics have been used as the benchmark for one another all season long in NBA betting action. Though neither one will end up with the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, both are still trying to make sure that they have home court advantage locked up against the other come playoff time.

Through 79 games, they're dead even with one another at 55-24, and we expect to see a great battle Sunday afternoon when these two meet in Miami. Tip-off from the AmericanAirlines Arena is set for 12:30 p.m. (PT).

Boston certainly has some issues right now, and those issues stem from its performance on the road of late. Sure, there is that road win against the San Antonio Spurs, the team with the best record in the NBA, but they were certainly not in great form at that point.

Since then, the Celtics have lost to the Atlanta Hawks and the Chicago Bulls, and they also have a recent defeat at the Indiana Pacers and a near miss against the Minnesota Timberwolves to boot outside of Beantown.

Head coach Doc Rivers is hoping that Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal can combine to form a big-time big man to compete with the likes of Chris Bosh, Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Dwight Howard in the second season.  The Big Shaqtus is battling a calf injury that will probably cost him the rest of the regular season. The other O'Neal was also held out of the lineup in an easy win over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.

Nenad Krstic stepped in and played well, accounting for 17 points and six boards. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo all had double-doubles.

Miami is certainly not without its flaws either with shoddy losses against the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers of late. However, the big question is whether this is a team that can really play with the big boys or not.

We already know that the Celtics have won the season series, thus the tiebreaker that goes along with it should the two squads end up with the same record, but the rest of the big boys having been cooling off the Heat all season long as well.

Just check out these records against the best teams in the league:

  • San Antonio Spurs: 1-1
  • Los Angeles Lakers: 2-0
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: 1-1
  • Dallas Mavericks: 0-2
  • Chicago Bulls: 0-3
  • Boston Celtics: 0-3
  • Orlando Magic: 2-2

That's just a 6-12 record against the other top seven teams in the league, and it really isn't going to cut it. What we do have to remember is that both Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have missed a few games this season, and some of those have come against these big boys. However, without D-Wade, Bosh and LeBron James, this team has absolutely nothing of note whatsoever.

Simply put, Boston has dominated this series. It has been a dog in this series all three times this year on the NBA odds, and all three times it walked away with an outright victory. The Celtics are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 visits to South Beach, and 25-10 ATS in the last 35 meetings with the Heat overall.

 
 
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