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What you need to know for Celtics-Heat Game 6
History is in the air ahead of Saturday night's anticipated Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals. The Boston Celtics enter South Florida as slight favorites against the host Miami Heat. Will Boston get one step closer to becoming the first team to avenge a 3-0 deficit?
Evaluating the player pool led my projections to Bam Adebayo as a strong DFS star given the third-highest blend of floor and ceiling behind superstars Jayson Tatum and Jimmy Butler. Miami's Caleb Martin has provided value in almost every playoff appearance this year while surpassing his points prop in five straight games.
From a scoring and shooting prop lens, Derrick White looks good, as he's lofted 15 3-pointers and 21 shots from the floor over the past two games. With Malcolm Brogdon's injury limiting his shot diet, White and Marcus Smart have consumed more shots. In a make-or-miss series, such complementary scorers could prove critical.
-- Jim McCormick
Breaking down Celtics-Heat Game 6
Records (against the spread)
Celtics: 57-25 (45-36-1)
Heat: 44-38 (30-49-3)
Line: Celtics (-3) Total: 210
BPI projection: Celtics by 5.9
Money line: Celtics (-145), Heat (+122)
Celtics: Malcolm Brogdon, (GTD - Forearm); Danilo Gallinari, (OUT - Knee)
Heat: Gabe Vincent, (GTD - Ankle); Tyler Herro, (OUT - Hand); Victor Oladipo, (OUT - Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play
Eric Moody's best bets
Jimmy Butler over 42.5 points+assists+rebounds: Game 5 may have been quiet for Butler, but make no mistake, he's hungry for redemption. Butler was held to 14 points (his lowest total this postseason), five assists and five rebounds in 34 minutes. Despite leading in the series, this has the feel of a do-or-die game for the Heat, and they're not taking any chances. Miami wants to avoid having to travel to Boston for a Game 7. Butler's home-court dominance in the postseason has been undeniable, as he's averaging a jaw-dropping 30.0 points, 4.9 assists and 7.0 rebounds per game.
Bam Adebayo over 26.5 points+rebounds: Game 5 wasn't the best for Butler, and Adebayo couldn't quite fill the void, putting up only 16 points and eight rebounds. Those six turnovers? Ouch. Adebayo is ready to bounce back with a vengeance on Saturday. When playing at home against the Knicks and Celtics this postseason, he's averaged a solid 17.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Brace yourself for an even more dialed-in Bam in Game 6. There is a good chance he will exceed those per-game numbers on Saturday night.
Over 210: The Celtics have found their rhythm just in time, firing on all cylinders in the past two games with their season hanging in the balance. Butler's bold guarantee after the blowout loss in Game 5 adds an extra layer of intensity to Game 6. Buckle up, bettors, because this matchup has all the makings of a high-scoring spectacle. Celtics games have surpassed the 211-point mark an impressive 66 times this season, while the Heat have done it 58 times.
Celtics -3: Boston has been dominant in the past couple of games, leaving bettors and the Miami Heat in awe. As the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics are finally proving exactly why they earned that distinction. Their championship-caliber defense has been an impenetrable force, holding the Heat below 100 points in consecutive games. With renewed confidence and swagger, momentum is squarely on the Celtics' side. The Heat have struggled at home against the spread this season, going 15-24-1. They will make adjustments in Game 6 and their stars should perform better, but against a Celtics team with this much talent, I don't know if it will be enough. Brace yourselves, folks, because it's looking increasingly likely that we'll be heading back to Boston for a thrilling Game 7.