Heat still massive long shot vs. Celtics despite evening 1st-round series

Oddsmakers still believe the top-seeded Celtics will roll in the first round. 
Apr 24, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) shoots against the Boston Celtics in Game 2.
Apr 24, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) shoots against the Boston Celtics in Game 2. / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat delivered the biggest stunner so far in the NBA playoffs on Wednesday. Miami, a 14.5-point underdog, walked into TD Garden and delivered a big-time upset of the top-seeded Boston Celtics to even the first round series at 1-1. 

Miami did it without star forward Jimmy Butler behind a sizzling offense that knocked down 23 three-pointers to pull away from the heavily-favored Celtics after trailing by three at the half. 

Despite the long-range assault and an upset at one of the toughest venues in the NBA, oddsmakers aren’t exactly bullish on the Heat duplicating that effort and pulling out the series against the betting favorites to win the NBA Championship.

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Heat still massive long shot vs. Celtics

The Heat have momentum right now after stealing a road game and with the series moving to South Beach. Don’t print the second-round tickets just yet, though. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Heat are still +1200 ($100 bet wins $1,200) to win the series over Boston. That’s an implied probability of just 7.69% that Miami moves on to the second round.

That’s no surprise as the Celtics had the NBA’s best regular-season record and are the odds-on favorite (+130 on FanDuel) to win the NBA Finals and hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy while the Heat have the second-longest odds (+4900) on FanDuel to win the Eastern Conference and reach the NBA Finals.

Boston a big road favorite in Game 3

The venue switch and Miami’s upset has shortened the spread just a tad as the Celtics are laying 9.5 points on the road in Game 3 of the series on Saturday at Kaseya Center. 

Miami has been much better as road warriors than in its home venue, though. The Heat are just 17-25 ATS at Kaseya Center so far this season compared to the league’s third-best ATS mark (26-16-2) in away games. Boston hasn’t particularly been great as a road favorite, either, going just 18-17-3 ATS. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.