The Miami Heat were never supposed to be in this position, and the sports books are treating them as such.
The Heat were barely even able to sneak into the playoff picture. They qualified for the play-in tournament, but wound up losing the first game and were faced with an elimination situation before the official postseason even began.
Miami Heat Are Heavy Underdogs Against Celtics In ECF
Three years later, a rematch of the 2020 NBA Bubble Conference Finals:
East: Heat vs. Celtics
West: Lakers vs. Nuggets
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 14, 2023
But Miami was able to pull off a historic upset in the first round. Their reward for qualifying as the 8th seed was a date against the 1- seeded championship favorite Milwaukee Bucks. Thanks to superstar performances from Jimmy Butler and untimely injuries for Milwaukee, the Heat became the sixth 8-seeded team to ever pull off a first round upset.
They had an easier time with the New York Knicks during the second round, despite both series finishing with a tally of 4-2. And if the Bucks weren’t their toughest test in the East, they’ll play another powerhouse in the conference finals.
The Boston Celtics were able to pull out a Game 7 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday behind Jayson Tatum’s 51 point performance. They’ll have home court advantage as the series will begin in Boston, but Miami has shown that they can win on the road in the postseason.
Celtics-Heat series betting at @BetMGM
50% of bets and 93% of money is on @celtics to win series.
— John Ewing (@johnewing) May 15, 2023
The oddsmakers aren’t giving the Heat much of a chance. The Celtics are the heavy favorite for the series, and the public is riding with them. Boston comes in with a -550 designation to be the team to represent the East in the NBA Finals, with the Heat trailing as heavy underdogs at +430.
According to multiple sports books, a large percentage of the money being brought in is riding with the Celtics. It is reported that 50% of the bets are on Boston, which means the oddsmakers are doing their job correctly. But the same reports say that 93% of the money is on the Celtics as well.
It all starts with Game 1. Despite Miami’s track record on the road, the Celtics are currently 8 point favorites to take the first game of the series. But if the Heat are somehow able to pull of the upset as they’ve been known to do, all of these numbers could take a drastic swing. A Game 1 win probably wouldn’t make Miami the favorite for the series, but the gap between the teams would certainly be smaller.
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Courtesy : https://sportslens.com/news/miami-heat-are-heavy-underdogs-once-again-in-eastern-finals/