Celtics vs. Heat Game 4 prediction: NBA playoffs odds, picks, best bets for Monday

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After suffering a 20-point beatdown in what turned out to be a revenge game for the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat will enter Monday night’s Game 4 as double-digit home underdogs.

Miami again missed Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier, two of its best scorers. As a result, the Heat posted just 84 points, struggling to gain momentum on that end of the floor.

Butler and Rozier will continue to be sidelined due to their respective injuries, giving Boston a clear path to taking a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven first-round NBA playoff series. 

But it never seems that easy when the opponent is coached by Erik Spoelstra.

Will the C’s secure another double-digit win or will Miami pull off the impossible for a second time in this Eastern Conference series? Let’s break down the matchup with a prediction and pick.

Celtics vs. Heat odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Celtics -10.5 (-108) -520 o203.5 (-108)
Heat +10.5 (-112) +390 u203.5 (-112)
Odds via DraftKings

Celtics vs. Heat prediction

(7:30 p.m. ET Monday, TNT)

Game 3 featured a much more concerted effort from Boston on defense, particularly on the perimeter.

The C’s held Miami to just 9-for-28 shooting from behind the arc, a substantially better mark than the 23 made 3-pointers they allowed in Game 2.

Even more impressive is that the Heat only attempted 28 3-pointers, 12 fewer than their average in the first two games of the series. 

Expect Jrue Holiday to stick closely to Tyler Herro in Game 4. Getty Images

So, Boston not only contested the 3s that Miami did take but also forced the Heat to score inside the arc, a formidable strategy for a team like the Celtics that can lean on Kristaps Porzingis’ interior defense and rim protection to contest shots in the paint.

Boston has the personnel to make a permanent series adjustment in how it defends the point of attack; Payton Pritchard, Jrue Holiday and Derrick White can pressure the ball at all times.

Holiday and White, in particular, are considered two of the toughest on-ball defenders in the NBA. 

I expect the C’s to build off their defensive success in Game 3 and continue to throw a wrench in Miami’s offensive game plan, especially since the Heat don’t have a true point guard to to deal with the pressure and get them into their halfcourt sets.

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Celtics vs. Heat pick

Ultimately, Game 2 served as a wake-up call for the C’s, a team that largely dominated the Eastern Conference and the NBA in general throughout the regular season.

The disparity in talent between these two teams right now is simply too great for Miami to overcome. 

Think about it: The Heat had to knock down a playoff franchise-record number of 3s to get by Boston in Game 2. It just won’t happen again.

Boston in a blowout.

Pick: Celtics -10.5 (-108, BetRivers)

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