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Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat preview: Odds, predictions, injuries, how to watch

In a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Finals, the struggling Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics, whose 34-10 record is better than anyone else’s in the NBA.

Miami comes into this game having lost to the Memphis Grizzlies the night before. The 17-27 Grizzlies were without Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Jake LaRavia, Santi Aldama and Derrick Rose for their trip to Miami, yet still won 105-96 to spoil Terry Rozier’s Heat welcome party. 

The Celtics are leading the way in the Eastern Conference and will be looking to extend their road winning streak to four when they visit Florida.

Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Odds

Miami Heat+220 ML
Boston Celtics-270 ML
SpreadCeltics -7.5
Total PointsOver/Under 220.5

Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Information

WhereKaseya Center, Miami, Florida
When7:30 PM ET. Thursday, January 25
How to watchTNT

Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Predictions

Boston Celtics -7.5

This looks set to be a mismatch based on current form. The Celtics have come on leaps and bounds since their Eastern Conference Finals defeat to Miami in seven games last season, with Boston now leading the way in the East and boasting the best record in the entire NBA.

In contrast, the Heat have shown no real signs of progression and the frustration of their head office was shown this week when they opted to trade Kyle Lowry to the Charlotte Hornets and acquire Terry Rozier as they look to improve quickly.

However, Rozier’s welcome party was spoiled by the Grizzlies on Wednesday as Miami lost by nine points and an equally heavy defeat could be in store against Boston.

The Celtics won the last meeting back in October 119-110, are 23-6 against Eastern Conference rivals and are facing a side who have lost four on the bounce - this could turn ugly for the Heat.

Jaylen Brown to score 25+ points (+145)

Jaylen Brown dropped 34 points in the Celtics’ latest game against the Mavericks and he could continue that form against a struggling Heat team on Thursday.

He notched 27 points in the last meeting between these teams. Brown should see get plenty of opportunities with Miami’s best defender Jimmy Butler likely to be preoccupied, dealing with Boston's main man Jayson Tatum - who scored 39 points against Dallas last time out - in this matchup.

There is also a possibility that Butler, who took a blow to the face against Memphis, could miss this tie which would open up even more space for Brown to score with regularity.

Terry Rozier could get a first start for the Heat and he may be the man tasked with keeping tabs on Brown but, given that he has only just joined and may not be up to date with Spoelstra’s methods, he could struggle against the explosive scoring ability of the Celtics star.

Derrick White over 2.5 threes made (+105)

Derrick White has become a very important cog in the Boston Celtics’ team this season and his ability as a spot-up shooter is invaluable to Joe Mazzulla’s system.

White has made at least three three-pointers in four of his last five appearances and also managed five when he faced the Heat in October, highlighting his ability as a shooter from distance.

With the Heat showing frailties of late, White could enjoy another good day from behind the arc and should be taken to make over 2.5 threes in this clash.

Miami Heat Injury Report

Miami will be without Jaime Jaquez Jr as he nurses a groin injury, while guard Dru Smith is out for the season.

The fitness of forward Kevin Love is day-to-day and a game-time decision as he recovers from an illness.

Boston Celtics Injury Report

Joe Mazzulla has a full squad to choose from for this encounter, with no injuries to report.

Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Stats

These two sides have met in the Eastern Conferences Finals two years running, with the Heat taking the series 4-3 last season.

Heat star Tyler Herro and Celtics guard Derrick White were the top scorers in the last meeting between the teams, both notching 28 points.

The Celtics have won their last three road games and the Heat are on a four-match losing streak.

Both teams utilize a slow pace of play. Miami ranks as one of the NBA's best defensive teams, while Boston ranks as one of the best all-around teams - which makes sense given their league-best record.

The Heat allow 110.5 points per game, fourth-best in the league, while Boston allows the same amount but outscores Miami with 120.3 points per game to 110.5.

Part of the issue is that Miami just isn't making shots: the team ranks in the bottom 10 in field goal percentage. They also attempt the second-fewest shots per game, which is magnified if those shots don't fall.

Both teams, especially the Celtics, play an inside-out game: Boston ranks last in percentage of points in the paint and first in three-point attempts per game, but they're second in frequency of post-up plays.

Head-to-Head

Miami Heat overall regular season wins53
Boston Celtics overall regular season wins81

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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