Nov 2, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry (7) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics, looking for their sixth straight win
The Celtics are allowing the most points per game in the NBA to start the year
The odds and matchups can be found below with a prediction
The Miami Heat are surging, and are living up to their billing as one of the East beats this NBA season.
Their opponent Thursday night, the Boston Celtics, have some work to do if they want to compete at that level.
It should make for quite a Thursday night showdown at FTX Arena in South Beach, as the game tips off at 7:30pm ET.
The home side is an 8-point favorite in this one.
Celtics vs Heat Odds
U 215 (-110)
Odds as of Nov 3 at PointsBet
Heat’s Recent Results
There’s probably no better way you could have scripted Miami’s start.
They’ve reeled off five straight wins, all while prized offseason pickup Kyle Lowry is still trying to find his footing with his new club.
Tyler Herro that’s TUFF 🤮
(via @MiamiHEAT) pic.twitter.com/W4z8PmTm3d
— Overtime (@overtime) November 3, 2021
Last time out, they routed the Dallas Mavericks 125-110 to improve to 6-1 on the season. It was a balanced attack, with four or more players posting at least 22 points, led by Tyler Herro’s 25.
Herro and Jimmy Butler, who had 23 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in the win, have led the team in scoring six of the seven games.
Lowry cracked the 20-point plateau for the first time in his Heat career, finishing with 22 points, that included an impressive 6-for-9 mark from downtown.
Kyle Lowry just makes Miami so much better. Nobody is going to want to play this team in the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/0yUsj3OHgd
— Sahal Abdi (@sahaIabdi) November 3, 2021
Miami is rocking an NBA-best 16.7 point differential, with their smallest margin of victory in their wins at 13 points. They’re top-5 in shooting from the field, and seventh in 3-point accuracy.
As always, their bread and butter is that stone-cold defense. The Heat are one of two teams allowing 100 points or less per game, and they limit teams to an NBA-best 39.7% shooting from the field, and just 30.6% from deep, which ranks fifth.
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Celtics’ Recent Results
Flip to the other end of the spectrum, and things could not have gone worse for the Celtics under new head coach Ime Udoka. The team entered Wednesday’s game with the Orlando Magic riding a three-game skid and an ugly 2-5 mark on the season.
Reporting for NBA Countdown on the Celtics holding a players-only meeting in Orlando – and how there remains a lot of work to be done among franchise’s key players. pic.twitter.com/1fQ7VmDsdC
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 3, 2021
There is a bit of relief, after a 92-79 win Wednesday night in Orlando to snap the skid, but there’s still much work to do.
It didn’t help there was some real talk after Boston blew a 19-point second-half lead to lose 128-114 to the Chicago Bulls at home Nov. 1. Marcus Smart called out C’s stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for not passing the ball enough to the rest of the team and seeking out theirs.
“I can only do so much just standing in the corner”
Marcus Smart letting it out 👀
(via @NBCSCeltics) pic.twitter.com/06qfDL8PGH
— Overtime (@overtime) November 2, 2021
For their part, the Celtics’ young stars have carried the offensive load on the season, with Brown and Tatum the only players to lead the team in scoring this season.
JAYSON TATUM 💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/nf3hDm8Z4U
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 2, 2021
Tatum is averaging 25.7 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists a game, but he’s shooting just 39.5% from the field, and 27.1% from deep. Brown’s splits are more encouraging, as he’s posting 26.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game, while shooting close to 50% from the field and 37.8% from deep.
Celtics vs Heat Trends
Miami and the Chicago Bulls have been the NBA’s betting darlings, leading the league with impressive 6-1 records ATS. The Heat are also one of three teams with a perfect 3-0 mark ATS at home.
Leading the @MiamiHEAT to a 4-0 record, @JimmyButler earned the Eastern Conference Player of the Week honor for Week 2!
28 PPG | 8 RPG | 5.3 APG pic.twitter.com/qQZM6jz4su
— NBA (@NBA) November 1, 2021
Like their record, the Celtics are also 2-5 ATS, which is one spot above the Lakers for lowest success rate in the NBA. They’re 2-2 ATS as the road team.
What’s the Best Bet?
Perhaps the most glaring stat in this matchup is the Celtics’ porous defensive woes. They’re dead last in the NBA in points per game, giving up 119.7 a night. No other team is currently giving up more than 115.1.
Ime Udoka said the Celtics have noticed that the switching defense they are playing has caused some issues with rebounding. He’s challenging the team to work on gang-rebounding vs letting one guy do all the work.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) October 29, 2021
Part of the problem is they’re getting demolished on the glass, giving up 52.3 boards a night, which is 29th in the league. That’s a big reason why teams pump up the second most shots against the Celtics, at just under 94 attempts per game.
Miami hold their opponents to 40.6 rebounds a game, which is best in the NBA, while snagging nearly 12 offensive rebounds a night, which ranks seventh.
The Heat’s ability to spread the wealth around offensively, while holding their opponents at bay on the defensive end should be on display in this contest.
The Pick: Heat -8 (-110)