2024 NBA playoff picks, Game 1 best bets by proven model

After losing in seven games in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat, the top-seeded Boston Celtics will get their chance at revenge when they face Miami in the first round of the 2024 NBA playoffs. Game 1 is set for Sunday at Boston’s TD Garden. The Heat (46-36), who defeated Chicago 112-91 in Friday’s play-in matchup, will look to match last year’s success, which saw them take down top-seeded Milwaukee, fifth-seeded New York and second-seeded Boston to reach the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Denver Nuggets in five games. Miami will have to do so without small forward Jimmy Butler, who has a sprained MCL and will miss several weeks.

Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. ET. Boston leads the all-time series 100-73, but Miami holds a 20-17 series edge in the postseason. The Celtics are 14-point favorites in the latest Heat vs. Celtics odds from SportsLine consensus, while the over/under for total points scored is 209.5. Before making any Celtics vs. Heat picks, you’ll want to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters the 2024 NBA playoffs on a sizzling 88-58 roll on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning more than $2,600. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Celtics vs. Heat and just locked in its picks and NBA playoff predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Heat vs. Celtics:

Heat vs. Celtics spread: Boston -14
Heat vs. Celtics over/under: 209.5 points
Heat vs. Celtics money line: Miami +696, Boston -1111
MIA: The Heat have won 28 of their last 49 away games (+21.15 units on the ML)
BOS: The Celtics have covered the first half spread in 58 of their last 85 games (+27.35 units)
Heat vs. Celtics picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why the Celtics can cover
Kristaps Porzingis has had a lot of success against the Heat this season. In three games, he is averaging 20.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, one block and one steal. For the season, he is averaging 20.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, two assists and 1.9 blocks in 29.6 minutes. He enters the postseason having posted three double-doubles over his final four games of the regular season.

Also helping power the Celtics is point guard Derrick White. In 73 games, all starts, he is averaging 15.2 points, 5.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and one steal in 32.6 minutes of action. In three games against the Heat this season, he is averaging 16.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and two blocks. He was the first player in NBA history to record at least 200 assists, 120 3-pointers, 50 blocks and 40 steals in the first 46 games to start a season. See which team to pick here.

Why the Heat can cover
Point guard Tyler Herro narrowly missed a triple-double in Friday’s play-in win over the Bulls. In 33 minutes of action, Herro poured in 24 points, while adding 10 rebounds and nine assists. In three regular-season games against Boston in 2023-2024, Herro averaged 23.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists. He and Butler were the leading scorers on the team, both averaging 20.8 points. Herro also averaged 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 33.5 minutes.

Center Bam Adebayo also made his presence felt on Friday, scoring 13 points, while adding four rebounds, four assists and two blocks in the win over the Bulls. He recorded a double-double in Wednesday’s 105-104 play-in loss to Philadelphia, scoring 10 points, while grabbing 12 rebounds. In 71 games, all starts, he averaged 19.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.1 steals in 34 minutes. He has had good success against Boston throughout his career. In 22 games, he is averaging 17.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.3 steals and one block in 32 minutes. See which team to pick here.

How to make Heat vs. Celtics picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning Under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 208 points. The model also says one side hits in over 50% of simulations. You can only get the model’s pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Celtics vs. Heat, and which side hits in over 50% of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Celtics vs. Heat spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that has returned more than $2,600 on its NBA picks this season, and find out.

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