The Miami Heat will look to avoid playoff elimination tonight as they battle the Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the TD Garden in Boston. This evening’s contest is scheduled for a 8:30pm ET tip on ESPN. The latest NBA Odds have the visiting Heat listed as a -1.5 against the spread favorite; the Over/Under is set at 180 points. Miami is a -120 favorite to win outright while the Celtics are drawing +100 odds to pull of the mild upset.
The odds makers did not see it coming, nor did the Heat as they fell 90-94 at home in Game 5 on Tuesday night. Miami, an eight point favorite in the game (those who wagered on a Celtics straight up win received $360 for every $100 spent), now trails Boston 2-3 in the best of seven series.
The Heat, just as they did in Game 4′s 91-93 overtime loss, could not generate any offense down the stretch. LeBron James, once again, disappeared in the fourth quarter as the Celtics forced his teammates to win the game. Dwyane Wade did his part, scoring 27, but the rest of the Heat failed, contributing a grand total of 33 points. For the game Miami shot just 39 percent from the field and 26.9 percent from long range.
Boston did not burn the nets down either, but its 40.7 percent looked good in comparison to the Heat’s paltry shooting percentage. The Celtics also got a solid team effort on the offensive end of the floor with five players scoring in double figures. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce led the way with 26 and 19 points respectively while Rajon Rondo, who scored just seven points, paced the team with 13 assists.
It has become quite evident that Boston, despite age and injury, has more heart than the Heat. However, Miami has enough talent to win tonight and force a game seven in South Florida. The Heat will also benefit from the return of Chris Bosh this evening. Bosh played in Tuesday’s game, but he logged just 14 minutes after dealing with a strained abdominal muscle that caused him to the Heat’s previous nine playoff games. He is scheduled to start this evening, though, and Miami should benefit from his presence, particularly late in the game.
Three of the five games played in this series have been tightly contested, and it would be foolish to expect anything else tonight. The Celtics will do everything in their power to end this thing in Boston while the Heat, presumably, will fight off elimination with the tenacity one would expect from a defending Eastern Conference champion. In these types of situations the home team always looks appealing, particularly when it is a dog.
NBA Odds Betting Trend: Miami is 2-5 straight up and 1-6 against the spread playing as a road favorite against an Atlantic Division foe with a game total between 175 and 180 points.
2012 NBA Playoff Odds Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics Game 6: Provided by TopBet.com
Miami Heat -1.5 (-110), Over 180 (-110), -120 (Moneyline)
Boston Celtics +1.5 (-110), Under 180 (-110), +100 (Moneyline)