NBA Picks: Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics

Miami Heat at Boston Celtics
Monday, 3/18/13, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Miami -4.5
Current Betting Line:  Miami -5
Opening Total:  190
Current Total:  189
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Heat Celtics NBA Game Preview
The Miami Heat have never won in Boston during the regular season with LeBron James in tow

Miami will put its 22-game winning streak on the line Monday night, as it comes off a 108-91 victory over the Toronto Raptors as 7.5-point road favorites Sunday, while going OVER the total for the first time in four contests.  “It’s a special ride right now that we’re on,” commented Heat forward LeBron James.  “The best thing about it is we’re doing it together.”  The Heat are 21-11 overall when playing away from AmericanAirlines Arena, including a 12-7 mark versus Eastern Conference opponents.  Miami is 7-6 ATS as road favorites of 3.5 to 6 points this season, with the UNDER going 9-4 in that situation.

The Heat have split their first two meetings against the Celtics this season, with both teams winning on their home floor.  Miami’s 51-14 overall record is the best start through 65 games in franchise history, while it has posted an NBA-best 15-0 mark since the All-Star break.  Defensively, the team has held its last 10 opponents under 100 points, which happens to be a season high.

Boston has won back-to-back games, including a 105-88 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats as 15-point home favorites last Saturday, while going OVER the total in each of those contests.  The Celtics have won all 11 of their games at the TD Garden since losing point guard Rajon Rondo, which is important to consider when making your NBA expert picks Monday night.  “We just feel like this is a building we should never lose in,” commented Celtics forward Paul Pierce.  Boston is 19-13 ATS at home this season, with the OVER going 17-15 in that situation.

The Celtics have won all five regular-season meetings at home against the Heat since James arrived in South Beach, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NBA betting lines.  Boston may be up against it from an injury standpoint, as center Kevin Garnett is listed as questionable with a thigh issue.

Sports bettors will likely back the Heat due to their 9-1 ATS mark on the road, while the Celtics are 11-13 ATS as underdogs.

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