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Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics – Game 2 of East Finals at 8:30 PM

The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat are set to face off in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, with the Celtics holding a 1-0 series lead. As the teams prepare for this crucial matchup, the Celtics are favored by 9 points, and the over/under is set at 215.5.

In terms of betting odds, the Celtics have been established as the favorite in 74 games this season and have emerged victorious 53 times, translating to a 71.6% success rate. They have also won 14 out of 22 games where they were favored by at least -408 on the moneyline, as indicated in this matchup. With a moneyline set at -408, Boston is given an 80.3% chance of securing the win.

On the other hand, the Heat had faced difficulties as moneyline underdogs, winning only 8 out of 24 games where they were listed as underdogs in the regular-season. However, Miami has evolved into a different kind of monster during this postseason, where they proved to be a hot ATS and moneyline pick. In fact, the Heat are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.

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Looking at the point spread, the Celtics have been a potent offensive team, averaging 117.9 points per game. This is 8.1 points more than the Heat's average points allowed per game (109.8). Boston has a strong track record, going 39-20-2 against the spread and 49-12 overall when scoring more than 109.8 points. They are also 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up loss.

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Defensively, the Celtics give up an average of 111.4 points per game, while the Heat have the NBA's lowest-scoring offense, averaging 109.5 points per game. When Miami scores more than 111.4 points, they have a favorable record of 17-16-1 against the spread and 26-8 overall. However, the Celtics boast a solid 28-7-1 record against the spread and 31-5 overall when they allow fewer than 109.5 points.

Considering the over/under, the Celtics have an average implied total of 117.5 points this season, slightly higher than the 112 points implied for this particular game. Boston has exceeded 112 points in 56 games this season, indicating their scoring prowess. On the other hand, Miami has an average implied point total of 112.4 for the season but is projected to score 103 points in this matchup.

The Celtics absorbed yet another loss at home this postseason, having already dropped two games at TD Garden in the previous series against the Philadelphia 76ers. Now facing the prospect of a 2-0 hole, Boston must deliver a much better outing in Game 2 to subdue the upset-minded Heat. Boston are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS loss, which only means they are hard to beat after taking an L.

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On the other hand, the Heat are riding on enormous momentum following a string of massive upsets and impressive victories in these playoffs. With a balanced attack and Jimmy Butler thriving in the role of closer, Miami is a constant puzzle that teams struggle to solve each game. The Heat are such a hot pick right now that 72 percent of the public voted them to cover the +9.0 point spread at the TD Garden. Game 2 is going to be another back-and-forth duel for sure, and the play will definitely be much more physical. I can see the Celtics’ coaching staff making the right tweaks in the playbook for them to equalize the series. Meanwhile, the spread might be just too large for the Celtics to cover, especially against this Heat team that loves to rally in the fourth quarter to get them within striking distance as much as possible. There’s also a good chance the set total of 215 points will be eclipsed again given that the over is trending well for both the Heat and the Celtics. The over is 10-2 in the Celtics last 12 games played on 1 day's rest and 5-0 in the Heat's last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning percentage greater than .600.

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Prediction: Heat 115, Celtics 118

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