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NBA Playoff Odds – Heat look to turn it around against struggling Celtics

Written by Gaby Varji   
Saturday, 17 April 2010 00:15

NBA Playoff Odds - Heat vs CelticsWhen looking at your NBA playoff odds, many may see Boston and Miami and see this series as an easy win for the Celtics. But as you do your research, you’ll see that the Celtics aren’t even close to being a lock to get to the conference finals anymore: in fact, they may not even get out of the first round thanks to a Miami team that is hot at the right time of the year.

Heat vs Celtics odds – Saturday, April 17, 8:00 PM ET

The Heat are rolling into the playoffs with nine wins in their last 10 games, including three in a row, and they’re using defense to overcome their offensive shortcomings. In their last 13 games, the Heat have given up 100 points or more just twice, even though they’ve had Jermaine O’Neal and Udonis Haslem banged up. Still, when you have Dwyane Wade on the court, anything is possible. We all know Wade is an offensive powerhouse who often has to carry the load at that end of the floor, but this year, he became a much better defensive player, and he was the only guard in the top 30 in the NBA in terms of blocked shots.

 

The Celtics’ NBA betting odds are usually dependent on their defense, but it’s been awful as of late, allowing 100 points or more in eight of their last 10 games. Coach Doc Rivers may be leaving after the season to spend more time with his family; Kevin Garnett is not the same player he was when he arrived in Beantown thanks to a knee injury; while Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, especially Allen, have been inconsistent this season. The Celtics are going to need a series like last year’s first-round epic with Chicago from Rajon Rondo, who also has looked disinterested at times. And we won’t even mention the Rasheed Wallace signing.

The Celtics should be favored at home by most sportsbooks, as the Heat have lost five in a row in Boston, and nine of their last 10 against the Celtics overall. However, this could be a different Miami team than they’ve faced in the past as the Heat have won eight in a row on the road coming into the playoffs, and they’re brimming with confidence. Everyone says that the Celtics were waiting until the postseason to turn it on, but we’re skeptical of the Celtics’ ability to turn their intensity on and off like a light switch, especially after this season. Their bench is shaky, their stars are getting old, and the camaraderie that sparked their 2008 title run is gone. Look for the Heat to pull out the upset in a contest that could be as physical as an UFC betting matchup.

 
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