Oddsmakers’ predictions for Celtics Heat Game 7

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The Celtics are actually small favorites.

Jayson Tatum and Jimmy Butler are the favorites to win Larry Bird MVP. Matthew J. Lee/Universal Staff)

Another round, another Game 7 in Boston.

After a Game 6 loss to the Heat, the Celtics will play an NBA-record 35th Game 7 on Sunday, and that Game 7 will determine who will make it to the Eastern Conference finals.

Boston had a chance to get a Finals ticket on Friday night but lost 111-103 to force Sunday’s game in Miami. While the Game 6 loss was devastating for many fans, the Celtics were actually a 2.5-point favorite to win Game 7 on the DraftKings Sportsbook.

The most popular road team in Game 7 is very rare. Sunday’s Game 7 will mark the third time in the past 20 seasons that the visitors have won a Game 7 favor. According to Matt Moore of Action Network. The other two were the Warriors’ victory over the Rockets in the 2018 Western Conference Finals (Golden State defeated Houston, which went 101-92 without Chris Paul and dropped 27 straight 3-pointers) and the 2015 Clippers against the . The Rockets are in the game (Houston won that game to take a 3-1 series lead).

The Celtics are trending in their favor this postseason. They haven’t lost in a row yet, and are 6-2 on the road in this postseason, winning their last two games in Miami.

Not only did the Celtics handle their business on the road during the playoffs, but they also had a sizable advantage throughout the season. Boston’s 7.49 points differential on the road (regular and post) this season is the fourth-best mark in NBA history. According to Celtics radio announcer Sean GrandeMuch of that advantage comes from the past 29 road games, in which the Celtics went 22-7 by 12.4 points through Grande.

Historical trends have not been kind to the Celtics, though. In Game 7, the visiting team was only 34-111. The Celtics haven’t won a Game 7 on the road since the 1974 NBA Finals against the Bucks, and they’ve lost their last four on the road.

Still, the Celtics have several positives in examining historical trends. In Game 7, the away team has actually won the past two playoff games (3-2), the most recent coming from the Mavericks who dominated the Suns in early May. The Game 7 favorite is also 38-18 in Game 7 since 2005, According to John Ewing of BetMGM.

DraftKings Sportsbook’s overall score for last Sunday’s game was 196. That’s down from Game 6’s 201.5 points, which totaled 214 points. So far, the series is 4-2, but in Games 4 and 5, the total is well below the latter. The low post in Game 7 has been good in recent years, going 34-22 since 2005, by Ewing.

Judging from player data, Jayson Tatum averaged 28.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists in the king of the draft. Over the first six games of the series, Tatum averaged 24.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists. He’s had at least 28 points three times in the series so far, grabbed at least eight rebounds four times, and had at least six assists twice. In four career Game 7 games, Tatum is averaging 24 points, 5.3 assists and 7.8 rebounds.

After his dominant Game 6 performance, Jimmy Butler was set for 28.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in Game 7. Butler has averaged 24 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game so far in this series. Butler scored at least 29 points three times in this series, grabbed at least eight rebounds twice, and had at least five assists twice. In his 11-year career, he played only two Game 7 games, averaging 12.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in those games.

Jaylen Brown’s lines are a bit lower than Tatum and Butler’s. DraftKings set Brown’s free throw line at 24.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Brown is averaging 24.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists in the Western Conference finals so far. In the series, he scored at least 25 points twice, grabbed seven rebounds at least four times, and dished out at least three assists. In Game 7 of five career games, Brown is averaging 12.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists. Brown’s stats per game are a bit skewed as he came off the bench as a rookie in Game 7 of his first career and left in the second quarter due to a hamstring injury in Game 7 of his second .

If the oddsmakers are correct, the Larry Bird MVP will likely be won by Tatum or Butler, and the award will likely go to whose team wins Game 7. Tatum is currently the -110 favorite for the DraftKings. Butler is close behind at +125. Brown is third with +1000. After that, the odds dropped sharply. Bam Adebayo and Al Horford are tied for fourth, but they are at +15,000. Robert Williams (+20,000), Victor Oladipo (+50,000), Marcus Smart (+50,000), Derrick White (+50,000) and Kyle Lowry (+50,000) +50,000) are the only other players whose odds are listed.

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