NBA experts are overwhelmingly picking the Celtics to beat the Heat

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After a remarkable in-season turnaround, opening round sweep of the Brooklyn Nets and brutal seven game survival vs. the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks, it looks as though the Celtics are picking up a bit of a bandwagon in the playoffs. At least as far as people thinking they’ll win the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat.

A rematch of the ECF from two seasons ago in the bubble in Orlando, the Celtics enter the series as the betting favorite, going off anywhere from -160 to -185. That’s pretty hefty considering Miami is the Eastern Conference’s top seed, though the Celtics did win the season series 2-1. Boston is also a bit healthier than Miami entering the best of seven for the right to go to the NBA Finals. Add Boston’s top defensive rankings to their momentum and that might be why it seems they’re the consensus pick nationally as well.

Of the 19 experts making predictions on ESPN, 15 of them chose the Celtics.

All eight experts for CBS Sports went with the Celtics.

John Schuhmann from NBA.com says Celtics in six.

Five of eight writers for The Athletic chose the Celtics.

And the Celtics went three for three with writers from The Sporting News.

Many on the local and national scene have been waiting for Tatum, Brown and Smart to finally break through the ceiling of the Conference Finals after multiple appearances in the past half decade. If we’re to believe everything being said and written about them it appears now is their best chance to date.