The Heat and Celtics return to Miami with the Eastern Conference Finals tied at two games apiece.
While there are plenty of ways to bet Game 5, this specific article will touch on player props.
We’ll be using the Action Labs Player Prop tool to compare our NBA projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks. Below, I have laid out multiple prop bets that I’m playing, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.
NBA Player Props & Picks
Jaylen Brown, Over 2.5 3s (-135), Over 6.5 Rebounds (-115)
|Celtics vs. Heat||Celtics -1.5|
|Time | TV||8:30 p.m. ET | ESPN|
Jaylen Brown continues to be massively important for Boston in this series.
Jayson Tatum has his hands full with P.J. Tucker and Jimmy Butler giving him all he can handle defensively, and Tatum has a big defensive role, too. But that means Brown gets the softer matchup on both ends, and it means he has a size advantage, as well. And until a poor Game 4, he had taken advantage of it.
Brown had just 12 points, seven rebounds and a single 3-pointer in Game 4, all three numbers were his lowest of the series. But even including that game, he’s still leading Boston in both points and rebounds in the ECF.
Brown is now averaging 25.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per night, and he should have a bounce-back game here.
Let’s start with the 3s, since that one’s more straightforward. Brown made only one trey last game, but he had a few others go halfway down and finished 1-of-6.
Some nights the shots just don’t fall, but the volume was still there. Brown has still gone over 2.5 made 3s in six of seven games against the Heat on the season and nine of his last 11 against Miami overall. This is the time to keep playing the over.
As for the rebounding, that’s not a new trend for Brown. He’s a terrific positional rebounder and has averaged 7.6 boards over his last 25 playoff games. That means this line remains too low.
Brown has at least seven boards in all four games this series, so he’s gone over the line all four times. This prop gets even better if Robert Williams III is limited or out, leaving the Celtics smaller overall and Brown playing bigger.
Brown actually leads both teams in rebounds with 34 on the series compared to 30 from Al Horford and 29 from Bam Adebayo.
Brown is still +330 to lead the series in rebounding at DraftKings, and he’s +1900 to lead in RPG at FanDuel. Horford is the leader there at 10.0 RPG — remember he missed Game 1 — but Brown is in play for both of these with the way he’s rebounding in this series.
You know what else he’s still in play for? Conference Finals MVP. If you already tailed along the way, you probably don’t need to triple-down here, but at +1300 at FanDuel, Brown is still a juicy pick to win the first Larry Bird trophy.
He’s ahead of Tatum in points and rebounds per game, and he’s shooting better from the field and on 3s. He also has eight fewer turnovers.
Tatum is the hotter name after a big Game 4, but this number is still far too long for someone playing this well.
Kyle Lowry, Under 10.5 Points (-105)
It brings me no real pleasure to bet against Kyle Lowry, but it’s time.
Lowry is a star in this league, a true warrior, an NBA champion and at least for me, a deserving future Hall of Famer. He’s the greatest Toronto Raptor of all time. He does all the little winning things that make teams great.
But he clearly isn’t at full health right now, and he hasn’t been for this entire playoff run. Lowry had 10 points and nine assists in his playoff debut for the Heat, and then played 37 minutes in a Game 2 win.
He hasn’t been the same since.
He missed the final two games of the Atlanta series and three games against Philly, and if we’re being brutally honest, the Heat were worse when he played against the Sixers.
Lowry then missed the first two games of this series, too, before coming back after almost two weeks off and immediately providing a spark for his team. He helped Miami get a huge early lead, allowing them to capture a Game 3 win.
Lowry had his highest-scoring game of the playoffs in that one with 11 points — he also added six assists and four steals. But he was ineffective again in Game 4 without that long rest, scoring just three points on 1-of-6 shooting.
For the playoffs, Lowry is now averaging just 6.4 points per game. He’s gone under this line in all but one game, hitting this under 86% of the time. And remember: that one over was by a single free throw and came after almost two weeks of rest.
There will be no Lowry slander here, but that doesn’t mean we can’t play an under and profit off what we’re seeing.
Bonus NBA Prop Angles, Pending Health
- Robert Williams III, Over 1.5 Blocks (-145 DraftKings): We’ve got some contingent props for Wednesday because you’ll need something just before tip once you know these guys are starting with their usual minutes. Williams has multiple blocks in six straight playoff games, including seven in three games against the Heat. He also averaged 2.5 blocks per game since the Celtics’ January 29 breakout and his move outside the paint, hitting this over in 15 of 22 (68%) games.
- Marcus Smart, Over 5.5 Assists (-148 FanDuel): If Smart is in action, this is a must play. The Celtics have missed their point guard on both ends, not just defense. In the two games he’s played, Smart has recorded 19 assists, going easily over this line in both games. He’s gone over this line in four straight matchups and in nine of 12 playoff appearances (75%).
- Jimmy Butler, Under 0.5 3s (+164 FanDuel): You never really know when Butler will decide to take a few 3s, but he’s made only one all series and has taken only seven. He’s now 1-for-14 on 3s against Boston in seven season games, and he clearly looks hurt, with only 14 points on 22 shots in the last two outings. He’s taken only two 3s in those games and hasn’t been an aggressive scorer.