3 betting trends for Celtics-Heat Game 2

Jayson Tatum
Photo credit Getty Images

The Boston Celtics are a big favorite (-8.5 spread, -400 moneyline as of Thursday) at BetMGM against the Miami Heat for Friday’s Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

If that number holds, it’ll be tied for the sixth-biggest spread in Game 2 of a conference finals series in the last 20 years.

Here are three NBA betting trends for Friday’s game:

Post-Loss Home Team

The Celtics’ win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 2 of the conference semifinals was the 65th win in 79 Game 2s since 2005 for home teams that lost Game 1.

One day later, the Golden State Warriors did the same; they smashed the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 after losing Game 1 to improve the record to 66-14 (.825) and ROI of +13%.

Home teams that lost Game 1 of a playoff series have won 16 straight games. The last loss in that spot came nearly two years ago, when the Los Angeles Clippers lost both Games 1 and 2 of their first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks.

These teams are also sensational against the spread: 47-30-2 (.610) for an ROI of +17.9%.

Game 2 Total

The Over in Game 4 of the Celtics-Sixers series (214.5) hit on the first possession of overtime en route to 231 combined points.

It was the 13th time this postseason the Over hit by at least 15 points. In those 13 instances, the Over hit in the following game nine times, as it did in Game 5 for the Celtics-Sixers (213.5) with 218 points.

Since the 2005 postseason, the Over has hit in 56% of games after hitting by at least 15 points in the previous game.

As of Thursday, the total for Game 2 is 215.5.

First-Half Spread

The Celtics were a first-half favorite 18 times over a 20-game stretch from early February through late March. They covered the first-half spread 14 times in those 18 games.

Before then as a favorite: 23-26

Since then as a favorite: 7-10-1

They’re once again a favorite in Game 2 — as they were in Game 1, covering -4.5 with a nine-point halftime lead — at -5.5, as of Thursday.

The Heat, meanwhile, after a slow start as a first-half underdog (4-9 through mid-January) have covered 11 times in the last 19 games as a first-half under. While they’ve failed to cover as a first-half dog in two consecutive games, it’s worth noting they’ve had only two three-game first-half ATS losing streaks as an underdog since December 2020.

You can view updated Game 2 odds and more NBA odds at the BetMGM online sportsbook.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images