Heat vs. Celtics: NBA Eastern Conference Rivals Meet Inside the TD Garden

Miami Heat at Boston Celtics
Sunday, 4/1/12, 3:30 PM EST, TV:  ABC
Opening Point Spread:  Miami -3.5
Current Betting Line:  Miami -3.5
Opening Total:  186.5
Current Total:  185.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Celtics Heat NBA Playoffs Game 4 Preview
Boston Celtics PG Rajon Rondo has always been a tough matchup for the Miami Heat on any court

Miami will play its fifth road game in the last six contests when taking on the Boston Celtics inside the TD Garden on Sunday afternoon.  The Heat have won and covered their last two games, including a 113-101 victory over the Toronto Raptors as seven-point road favorites on Friday night.  Power forward Chris Bosh is coming off a 30-point performance against his former team, which has pushed his current squad’s record to 12-0 when he scores 24 or more points this season.  Miami is 13-14 ATS on the road and the “over” is 14-11 in that situation.

The Heat are 16-11 overall on the road this season, including a 13-5 mark versus Eastern Conference opponents.  Miami captured a 115-107 victory in its first meeting with Boston as 9.5-point home favorites, while going “over” the total for the fifth time in the last six in this particular series.  Small forward LeBron James continues to be the leader on the offensive end, averaging 26.5 points and 6.6 assists per game.  He finished with 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting against the Raptors.

Boston has come to life in winning four games in a row, as an aging roster has silenced its critics for the time being, especially with the play of center Kevin Garnett.  “I hear you calling me old,” stated Garnett in a press conference earlier this week.  He has responded in averaging 23.7 points on 59.3 percent shooting in the team’s last three games.  Small forward Paul Pierce is still the main offensive threat on the roster, scoring 19.0 points per game.  Boston is 8-2 ATS on Sundays this year and the “over” is 6-4 in those contests.

The Celtics will put their solid 18-8 home record on the line, which includes a 14-4 mark versus Eastern rivals.  Despite losing the first game in their series with the Heat, the Celtics did manage to win three of four regular-season meeting a year ago, with guard Ray Allen leading the way in scoring 20.3 points per game on 57.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc.  Point guard Rajon Rondo figures to loom large in determining the winner of this affair, as he’s dished out double-figures in assists in his past 12 games.

Bettors will likely back the Celtics due to their 6-0 ATS mark at home, while the Heat are 3-7 ATS versus winning teams.

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