What oddsmakers are projecting for Celtics-Heat Game 7
By Conor Roche
Another round, another Game 7 for Boston.
The Celtics will play in an NBA-record 35th Game 7 on Sunday after losing to the Heat in Game 6, with this Game 7 determining who will go to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Boston had a chance to clinch its Finals ticket Friday night, but lost 111-103, forcing Sunday’s game in Miami. While the Game 6 loss feels devastating for a lot of fans, the Celtics are actually 2.5-point favorites to win Game 7 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
A road team being the favorite in Game 7s is quite rare. Sunday’s Game 7 will mark the third time in the last 20 seasons that the road team will be favored for a Game 7, according to The Action Network’s Matt Moore. The other two times were when the Warriors were favored against the Rockets in the 2018 Western Conference final (Golden State won, 101-92, defeating a Houston team that was without Chris Paul and missed 27 straight 3-pointers) and in 2015 when the Clippers were favored against the Rockets (Houston won that one to overcome a 3-1 series lead).
The Celtics’ trends from this postseason are in their favor. They’ve yet to lose consecutive games and have a 6-2 road record during this playoff run, winning the last two games in Miami.
Not only have the Celtics handled their business on the road during the playoffs, but they’ve also been quite dominant throughout the season. Boston has a plus-7.49 point-differential in road games this season (regular and post), which is the fourth-best mark in NBA history, according to Celtics radio announcer Sean Grande. The bulk of that dominance has come over the last 29 road games, in which the Celtics have gone 22-7 with a plus-12.4 point-differential, via Grande.
Another double-digit Boston road win in Game 5.That moves them higher on this list of the most dominant road teams…in NBA history.In their last 29 road games, Boston is now 22-7 with a +12.4 scoring margin.CELTICS ON THE ROAD IN THE PLAYOFFS2022: 6-32012-21: 12-27 pic.twitter.com/U5Hy6AXofu
Historical trends aren’t as friendly to the Celtics, though. Visiting teams are just 34-111 all-time in Game 7s. The Celtics haven’t won a road Game 7 since the 1974 NBA Finals against the Bucks, losing their last four road Game 7s.
There are a couple of positives though for the Celtics in looking at the historical trends. Road teams in Game 7s actually have a winning record in the last two postseasons (3-2), with the most recent win coming from the Mavericks, who dominated the Suns earlier in May. The favorites in Game 7s are also 38-18 in Game 7s since 2005, according to BetMGM’s John Ewing.
The point total for Sunday’s game is 196 on DraftKings Sportsbook. That’s down from the 201.5 point total for Game 6, in which there were 214 total points. The over has gone 4-2 so far in this series, but in Games 4 and 5, the point total fell well under. The under in Game 7 has fared well in recent years, going 34-22 since 2005, via Ewing.
Looking at player props, Jayson Tatum’s lines are set at 28.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists on DraftKings. Tatum’s averaging 24.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 5.5 assists through the first six games of the series. He’s scored at least 28 points three times, grabbed at least eight rebounds four times, and dished out at least six assists twice so far in the series. In four career Game 7s, Tatum’s averaged 24 points, 5.3 assists, and 7.8 rebounds.
After his dominant Game 6 performance, Jimmy Butler’s lines for Game 7 are set at 28.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. Butler’s averaged 24 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists so far this series. Butler’s scored at least 29 points three times, grabbed at least eight rebounds twice, and dished out at least five assists twice so far in this series. He’s played in just two Game 7s over his 11-year career, averaging 12.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in those games.
Jaylen Brown’s lines are a bit lower than Tatum’s and Butler’s. DraftKings has Brown’s lines set at 24.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. Brown’s averaged 24.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists so far in the conference final. He’s scored at least 25 points twice, grabbed at least seven rebounds four times, and dished out at least three assists three times in the series. In five career Game 7s, Brown’s averaged 12.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 0.8 assists. Brown’s averages are a bit skewered because he came off the bench in his first career Game 7 as a rookie and in his second Game 7, he left in the second quarter due to a hamstring injury.
If the oddsmakers are correct, the Larry Bird MVP will very likely be won by either Tatum or Butler, with the awards probably going to whose team wins Game 7. Tatum is currently the favorite at -110 at DraftKings. Butler isn’t far behind at +125 odds. Brown’s a distant third at +1000. After that, the odds take a very steep drop. Bam Adebayo and Al Horford are tied for the fourth-best odds to win the award, but their odds are listed at +15,000. Robert Williams (+20,000), Victor Oladipo (+50,000), Marcus Smart (+50,000), Derrick White (+50,000), and Kyle Lowry (+50,000) are the only other players that have listed odds.
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