Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals is on tap for Friday night, with the Celtics playing for their season down 3-1. From a betting standpoint, here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics:
The Celtics know it’s crucial to get out to a good start with their season on the line. Miami had lost four consecutive first quarters entering Game 4, dropping the first three in this series by 6.7 points per game. After a loss, Miami came out and said it would have a huge emphasis on the first quarter of Game 4. They eventually won the period by a point, but the Celtics played awful — committing sloppy turnovers and getting no production from Jayson Tatum. In a must-win game, I’d expect Boston to bring much better energy early in this one, and put an emphasis on getting Tatum involved. I’d also expect defensive adjustments from the C’s, which could also stifle Miami early.
I went to this one in Game 4 and took the L, but I wouldn’t take the bet back. We had some pretty tough luck with Smart on Wednesday, as he shot just 3-of-12 in 36 minutes, including 1-for-8 from downtown. Smart also could’ve had a chance to knock down a three for his over in the final minute of the game, but he fouled out. Prior to Game 4, Smart was averaging 19.8 points over his last five games, going over this prop in each contest. Averaging 14.2 shots per game during that span, I think we can comfortably count on Smart to have more than enough opportunities to go over. Let’s just hope he bounces back from a terrible shooting night.
Hayward knocked the rust of in Game 3, and looked significantly better in Game 4, scoring 14 points in 30 minutes. He attempted nine shots and got to the free throw line four times, both numbers I expect to slightly rise in this game. Hayward was consistently willing to drive against Miami’s zone last game, and his skillset should help him earn some extra minutes if that’s the defense the Heat go to again. Also, if Kemba Walker is forced off the floor because of his defensive inefficiencies, Hayward could pickup some primary ball handling duties. On the other side, Crowder is out there for his defense and will shoot open 3-pointers when he has them. Once shooting 45% from downtown in the playoffs, Crowder’s been long overdue for some regression, and we’re starting to see it. He had just three points last game on 1-of-9 shooting, and was 2-for-10 from the field in Game 3.
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