All it took was one win for the betting market to be right back in on the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics are 8.5-point favorites at BetMGM against the Miami Heat for Thursday’s Game 5. That line opened at Celtics -7.5 and moved up.
Bettors forgot what happened in the first three games of the series, apparently.
Miami was an 8.5 point underdog in Game 1 and won straight up. The Heat was a 10-point underdog in Game 2 and won another game straight up. When the series shifted back to Miami, the Heat was a 4.5-point underdog and won again.
We’ll start to find out if a Boston win in Game 4 completely shifted the momentum in the series. Boston looked much better and won Game 4, and the spread for Game 5 looks like the first three games never happened.
The biggest difference for Boston in Game 4 was 3-point shooting. The Celtics hit 18-of-45 3-point attempts, and it will be hard to beat them when they do that. It’s also hard to count on 18 3s again vs. a good Heat defense.
If the Celtics win Thursday night, pressure will ramp up on Miami. No team has ever come back from a 3-0 hole in an NBA playoff series, but the Celtics have a reasonable shot at making history. The Heat won’t make it that easy.
Here’s a first look at the sports betting slate for Thursday:
The Dallas Stars didn’t put up much of a fight in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. They were down 3-0 almost immediately and captain Jamie Benn got a game misconduct for a cross checking penalty. The Vegas Golden Knights won that game 4-0. Benn was suspended two games.
The Stars are a curious -125 favorite over the Golden Knights for Game 4. While Dallas could rebound after an embarrassing performance, it also knows how difficult it will be to crawl back in the series. It’s even tougher without Benn. The Golden Knights won 4-0 in Game 3 and are in a good spot to finish the series on Thursday and set up a fun Stanley Cup Final against the Florida Panthers.
Some early MLB action
There are 10 games on Thursday in Major League Baseball, including four in the afternoon. Among those games is the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays finishing up an entertaining series. The Rays are a -155 favorite.
In the evening, a disappointing Philadelphia Phillies team tries to keep some momentum from a dramatic extra innings win on Wednesday as it starts a series against the Atlanta Braves. Aaron Nola is on the mound for the Phillies, which is why they are -115 favorites. It’s not a bad idea to take the Braves most times they’re underdogs, especially at home.
What’s the best bet?
How can it not be the Heat and all those points? Maybe we’re seeing the first steps of a historic comeback for the Celtics, but 8.5 points is still too many. Even if Boston wins, Miami should put up a good fight.