The 2020 NBA Eastern Conference Finals keeps rolling with Celtics-Heat Game 4 on Wednesday night and there are as many questions as there are answers. The Celtics looked to have solved the Heat defense in Game 3, cutting Miami’s series lead to just 2-1, and BetRivers.com is proud to provide an extensive Celtics-Heat Game 4 betting preview advance of the 8:20 p.m. ET Wednesday night tipoff.
Rob Dauster is back to provide a look at the Wednesday NBA Playoff odds with a Celtics-Heat Game 4 betting preview, filled with insight on recent trends and analysis on which bets are worth your consideration.
CELTICS-HEAT GAME 4 BETTING PREVIEW
- GAME 4: Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
- MONEYLINE: Celtics -152, Heat +128
- SPREAD: Celtics -3, Heat +3
- OVER/UNDER: 210
- IMPLIED SCORE: Celtics 106.5, Heat 103.5
The Celtics seemingly figured out the Miami zone in Game 3, as Gordon Hayward returned and Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Jayson Tatum were able to get into the paint and make plays. Combine that with a 12-44 three-point shooting performance from the Miami Heat, and what you ended up with was a 117-106 Boston win, ensuring that this will be a series.
Hayward’s return is significant because it changes the way that Boston can play. They can go with smaller, more skilled lineups. They have a playmaker that can be used against the zone where Brad Stevens knows that the ball won’t stick. It means that Semi Ojeleye, whose role offensively was “stand in the corner and hope the ball doesn’t come to you” gets a DNP-CD instead of having to play 10 minutes.
And at the end of the day, limiting how much he has to use his bench may end up being the difference-maker for Stevens. Let’s call it what it is: The Celtics have the more talented starting lineup than the Heat, but without Hayward, their bench had plenty of question marks.
The Heat have been murdering the Celtics in ball-screens during this series, forcing Stevens to have to decide between tagging a rolling Bam Adebayo while leaving the likes of Duncan Robinson and Jae Crowder on the weakside, or allowing one of the best big men on the planet to role to the rim relatively uncontested.
The fewer minutes that the Celtics have to deal with that problem with Enes Kanter or Robert Williams on the floor, the better it is for them.
So on paper, I like Boston here. The problem, however, is two-fold. On the one hand, Eric Spoelstra is one of the best in the NBA at creating game-plans to attack what he perceives as deficiencies in his opponent. Brad Stevens tends to be better reacting once he has tape on an opponent. Spo will have had four days off to try and find a way to beat the Celtics in Game 4, and to me, that advantage goes to the Heat.
As does the fact that this is a team that has absolutely no quit in them. There’s a beauty in the fact that Miami never stops competing, even when they are down 15 to a superior team in the playoffs. It’s exhausting to deal with, and as we have seen multiple times already in this series, switching off for just a couple minutes can make all the difference in the world.
All that said, I do believe that Hayward will be the ultimate difference-maker here. He’s only going to be more impactful as he continues to get back up to speed. I am fully expecting this series to go seven games, and for that to happen, Boston has to take care of business on Wednesday night. I believe they will.