Tuesday, August 4:
Boston Celtics (-3.5) vs. Miami Heat
- Moneyline: BOS -165
- Over/Under: 223.5
- Coverage: TNT at 6:30pm EST
The Boston Celtics will look to douse a fiery Miami Heat squad tonight in a battle for playoff positioning. The Heat are desperate for a bounce-back win to retain the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference, but they’ll have trouble finding one opposite the duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Tatum and Brown dropped 34 and 30, respectively, to lift Boston to victory over Portland on Sunday, and to make matters worse for the Heat, they’re 0-2 against the Celtics this season, 9-12-1 ATS as the underdog and 3-6-2 ATS in the second game of a back-to-back. The Celtics, on the other hand, boast the league’s second best record ATS this season, including a 10-1-1 mark ATS with the rest advantage over their opponent. Miami is resilient enough to keep the contest tight, but look for Boston to pull away in the fourth quarter.
Game Pick: BOS -3.5
Prop Pick: Jimmy Butler Over 19.5 Points
Butler served the Celtics offerings of 37 and 20 points in their two meetings this season, and he’s played solid in the bubble thus far, recording 22 points against Denver and 16 points opposite Toronto’s stingy defense last night. Meanwhile, the Celtics’ defense has been nothing but generous, conceding 119 points to Milwaukee and a staggering 124 to Portland. Boston’s recent defensive woes offer Butler a realistic opportunity to outperform his season averages of 20.3 PPG overall and 22.6 PPG on zero days rest. All signs point towards a Jimmy Buckets sighting tonight in Orlando.
Houston Rockets (-4.5) vs. Portland Trail Blazers
- Moneyline: HOU -185
- Over/Under: 244
- Coverage: TNT at 9pm EST
If you love scoring and hate defense, this matchup between the Rockets and Trail Blazers is for you. James Harden and the Rockets tied an NBA record in their last contest by tossing up 61 3-point attempts, and thanks to their explosive offense from behind the arc, Houston averages the most points in the league at 118.7. Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers aren’t far behind with an average of 114.2 points per game. There’s no doubt we’ll be treated to a high scoring affair, but there is reason to doubt whether the total score will reach 244 points. Believe it or not, Houston’s over record is dead last in the league this season, as 56.1% of their contests have failed to exceed the over/under point total. Of the eight Rockets games this season assigned an over/under of 240 points or higher, none of them have gone over. Nobody wants to be that guy rooting against points in a primetime NBA game, but the numbers speak for themselves in this instance.
Game Pick: Under 244
- Nick Wass – Associated Press
- Greg M. Cooper – USA TODAY Sports