NBA Playoff Betting Trends: #2 Miami Heat vs. #3 Boston Celtics

Last Updated: April 29th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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The Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat both have aspirations of beating the NBA Finals odds this year to claim glory. These two titans will run into each other like two runaway trains going in opposite directions starting on Sunday, and only one will be able to survive.

NBA Series Prices
Miami -195 vs. Boston +165 @ Oddsmaker Sportsbook
Miami -200 vs. Boston +170 @ SportBet Sportsbook
Miami -190 vs. Boston +155 @ BetUS Sportsbook

Series Trends and History
The Celtics did a nice job in this series this year in the regular season. They won 88-80 in a great game in October and came back to South Beach to score a 112-107 ‘W’. February’s meeting also went Boston’s way in 85-82 form at TD Garden. The difference making win went to Miami, though. In one of the last games of the regular season, the Heat scored a 100-77 victory. Because of that, they finished in front of the C’s in the standings and earned home court advantage in this series.

The Celtics are still 9-3 ATS over the course of the last 12 meetings in South Beach, and they had covered four in a row and seven out of eight before that romp here at American Airlines Arena. The favorite is 13-6 ATS in the last 19 clashes of these titans.

Keys to the Series
Key 1: The Battle in the Paint – There really isn’t anything more important in this series. The Celtics know that they have a huge deficiency without Kendrick Perkins. They might get Shaquille O’Neal back in the fold at some point during this series, but we don’t know whether it’s going to make much of a difference. If Joel Anthony and Zydrunas Ilgauskas can figure out how to give just a few contributions, that should be good enough for the Heat to dominate.

Key 2: LeBron’s Passion – LeBron James is going to be the best player on the court in this series, but that doesn’t mean that he is going to be putting up the best numbers. James was knocked out of the playoffs by these Celtics last year, and he really needs to be at his best to avenge that defeat from last year. Boston figured out how to bottle LeBron up last year, and if it does so again, the Heat are in a ton of trouble.

Key 3: Overcoming the Past – We’ve already mentioned just how badly the Heat played against Boston this year, but this wasn’t the only rock solid team that they didn’t do so great against on the campaign. Miami was knocked off twice by the Dallas Mavericks and all three times by the Chicago Bulls. This has been a huge problem for the Heat, and if they can’t get over their problems against the best of the best, they’ll never be able to beat the NBA Finals odds.

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Posted in NBA Basketball - Last Updated on Friday, April 29th, 2011 @ 9:44 pm (EST)
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