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7 of 9 (78%) Experts with a pick against the spread are aligned. 10* play on the Boston Celtics (Spread).
AAA Sports: 10* RED DRAGON (+$59,000 NBA RUN!)
This has been a back-and-forth series and I'm looking for Game 4 to follow suit. The Celtics will be risking life and limb today to try and even this series back up. Off the 109-103 Game 3 loss, note that Boston is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 in trying to revenge a home loss against an opponent in which it was held to 105 or less points in. Boston still ranks first across most defensive stats, including leading the league in scoring defense. The Celtics are also 5-0 ATS in their last five following a SU loss. Look for the home side to double down defensively and then to pull away down the stretch for the comfortable win and cover.
Matt Fargo: Fargo's NBA Eastern Conf Game of the Week
We have witnessed some awful basketball since the end of the first round in the NBA Playoffs. Of the 31 games played since the start of the Conference Semifinals, 25 games have been decided by seven points or more with 19 of those being by double-digits and those have been involving eight of the top teams in the league so that kind of disparity has been unwatchable. Game Three of this series ended up being a six-point win for Miami but that game was never in question as the Celtics never led and the Heat led by as many as 26 points. Each game is its own separate entity but it just shows these big spreads can be beat in the right spots. The Heat are 2-5 ATS in their last seven playoff games as an underdog. Boston had a scare with Jayson Tatum leaving the last game but did return and is listed as questionable but Celtics head coach Ime Udoka called the injury a stinger and said it is not serious so we can expect a big effort following his 10-point, six-turnover performance on Saturday. Boston is now 32-16 at home and this one has turned into a must win as a loss going back to Miami down 3-1 will be tough to overcome and the energy in TD Garden will be off the charts on Monday. The Celtics are 5-0 ATS in their last five games following a straight up loss. Here, we play against road underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points after having covered four or five of their last six against the spread, in a game involving two teams with winning percentages between .600 and .750. This situation is 64-27 ATS (70.3 percent) over the last five seasons.
Al McMordie: BIG AL's NBA CELTICS/HEAT GAME 4 WINNER!
We played on Miami in Game 3, but will take the home-standing Celtics in Game 4. With its 109-103 defeat, Boston has fallen behind in this series 2-games-to-1. But home teams that trail 2-games-to-1 in a Playoff series have covered 64.7% since 1990, if they lost Game 3, and weren't an underdog of 4+ points in Game 4. Moreover, the Celtics have gone 26-12-1 ATS in the Playoffs, if they trailed in a series, and failed to cover the previous game's spread by 6+ points. And Miami has covered just 7 of 24 games as a road underdog in the Playoffs, if it led in a series.
Doug Knudson: CONF FINALS COMBAT (6-1 RUN -58% PLAYOFFS
Buy Celtics - Classic Zig-Zag series and won't get in the way now - past 5 SU losses by the Celtics, they averaged to win next out by 25 pts! - 22-13 (63%) ATS after a loss this season - 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games - 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games against an opponent in the Eastern Conference conference.
American Sports Analysts: ASA's NBA 10* Situational Slam 19-4 / 83%
The Celtics laid an egg in Game 3 against the Heat and will bounce back here on their home court. Boston was flat in the previous game, scoring just 18 points in the 1st quarter after allowing 39. Miami was in control throughout the entire game before the C’s made it interesting late. Tatum had a horrible night for Boston by going 3 of 14 from the field for just 10-points so expect a much better showing in Game 4. Miami could be without their best defender in this game as Jimmy Butler only played 19+ minutes in G3 after reaggravating a lingering knee injury. Not only does that hurt Miami’s defense and primary defender on Tatum or Brown, it takes 21.4PPG and 6RPG away from their offense. Strangely enough, the Heat have only won 2 of the 12 quarters played in this series, yet still hold a 2-1 series advantage. The Law of Averages will start to even out beginning in Game 4 which is now a must-win for Boston. Boston is 24-11 SU when coming off a loss this season with the best average Margin of Victory in the league at +7.6PPG. Including the post season the C’s are 32-16 SU at home and they’ve won those games by +6.8PPG. Miami is 3-3 SU on the road in the playoffs and the three losses have come by an average of 10PPG.
Professional Sports Picks: Data Driven NBA *Big Bet Banger* +$27,000
Our models suggest that the value is on Boston in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics stole homecourt advantage with a win in Game 2 but gave it right back in the last game. Now the Celtics are in a tough spot as a loss here see them in a 3-1 hole as the series shifts back to Miami. We believe in the Celtics as they've been strong in these situations all season. The Celtics are 22-13 ATS off a loss for the season and perfect 4-0 ATS off a loss in the playoffs.
Larry Ness: Larry's 10* Situational Stunner (7-0?)
The Celtics never led in Game 3 and trailed by as many as 26 points early in the second quarter. "We didn't match (their physicality) from the start," Boston head coach Ime Udoka said. "We got into complaining and let it take us out of our game. It's disappointing to come out that flat in a conference finals game.' Still, the Celtics had a chance to post a comeback victory before the Heat held them off down the stretch. Miami led by 13 with 6:30 left before Boston responded with 12 consecutive points to cut the Heat's lead to 93-92 with 2:40 to play. However, the Heat held on to win 109-103.
Miami's Jimmy Butler sat out the second half of Saturday's game due to right knee inflammation. Butler had eight points in 20 minutes in Game 3, after averaging 35 points over the first two games. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said the training staff made the call on Butler. The Heat were led by center Bam Adebayo, who had been missing in action in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals. He played one of the top games of his five-year career. Adebayo exploded for 31 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals on Saturday night, making 15 of 22 field-goal attempts. That effort came on the heels of him taking just 10 total shots over the first two games. Adebayo scored 10 points in Miami's Game 1 win and just six in its Game 2 loss. PF Tucker contributed 17 points and seven rebounds and guard Strus scored 16 points. PG Kyle Lowry returned from a hamstring injury and recorded 11 points, six assists and four steals.
Boston's Jaylen Brown set a personal playoff high with 40 points and also collected nine rebounds for the Celtics in Game 3. Al Horford added 20 & 14 and PG Smart had 16 points and seven assists. However, Boston's top player (Jaysom Tatum) had just 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting and committed SIX turnovers (Boston committed 24 TOs in the game). Tatum never found a groove during Game 3. "My neck got caught in a weird position," Tatum said. "Obviously I went down and felt some pain and discomfort in my neck and down my arm, and then went to the back. I got it checked on, and started to gain some feeling back and got it checked by the doctors and ran some tests and decided to give it a go." Tatum is listed as probable for Monday's game.
That said, it is the Heat facing a bigger injury dilemma heading into Game 4. Along with Butler's status (see above), Miami listed five other players as questionable: Tucker (knee), Strus (hamstring) and guards Tyler Herro (groin), Kyle Lowry (hamstring) and Gabe Vincent (hamstring). In particular, Herro has GREATLY underachieved this postseason, averaging 13.5 PPG compared to 20.7 PPG in winning 6th-man-of-the-year during the regular season. The Celtics closed the regular season winning 28 of their final 35 games, losing back-to-back games just ONCE. Here in the postseason, they have lost five times, bouncing back to win AND cover after each of their first four playoff defeats. The number is a tad 'high' but I expect a HUGE bounce-back from Tatum and no one knows for sure just which Miami players will be able to produce (or even suit up) in Game 4.
Jazz Ray: ***10*** GOLDEN TICKET: 174-146 NBA YTD!
Scott Rickenbach: TOP 10* NBA *Playoff PAYOFF* 100% PERFECT
Best of luck!
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