ESPN's fantasy basketball and basketball betting tips cheat sheet is your pregame destination for basketball betting predictions and our best intel and data, featuring ESPN's proprietary Basketball Power Index (BPI) to help you make smart fantasy and wagering decisions. NBA game odds for Memorial Day are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.
What you need to know for Heat-Celtics Game 7
An epic Game 6 included late-game heroics and gave the Boston Celtics a shot to be the first NBA team to overcome a 3-0 deficit. The Miami Heat enter Boston on Monday as sizable underdogs amid their own three-game slide. Given Boston's league-best first-half net rating in the regular season, the start to this contest figures to be important.
If the Heat are to accomplish an upset, Bam Adebayo will need to deliver a big line. My projections love the versatile big man's chance at reaching double-double props while also being a sneaky captain candidate in Showdown formats. Gabe Vincent's presence on defense and as a floor-spacer drives value for him in DFS lineups, particularly on the heels of lofting nearly 20 shots.
Derrick White's clutch tip-in in Game 6 gave the Celtics life. I expect an even better line this time out, given the increased scoring and playmaking possessions on his plate with Malcolm Brogdon ailing. Jaylen Brown is lined up for heavy usage in a game that will demand his scoring.
-- Jim McCormick
Breaking down Heat-Celtics Game 7
Records (against the spread)
Heat: 44-38 (30-49-3)
Celtics: 57-25 (45-36-1)
Line: Celtics -7; Total: 203.5
BPI projection: Celtics by 10
Money line: Heat (+235), Celtics (-292)
Heat: Gabe Vincent, (GTD - Ankle); Tyler Herro, (OUT - Hand); Victor Oladipo, (OUT - Knee)
Celtics: Malcolm Brogdon, (GTD - Forearm); Danilo Gallinari, (OUT - Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play
Eric Moody's best bets
Jayson Tatum over 42.5 points+rebounds (-119): "We're all aware it's not time to celebrate," Tatum emphasized after Game 6. "We didn't accomplish anything. We won a big game that we had to win in incredible fashion. We're proud of the way we played, proud of the way we figured it out.
"But the job is far from finished. [Miami] is a great team, really well-coached team, and we've got to be ready on Monday. It's not over."
Game 7 is Tatum's chance to make history and define his career. He has been a force in this series, averaging 27.2 points and 10 rebounds per game. Now, Tatum can help the Celtics add to NBA history; no team in league history has come back to win a best-of-seven postseason series after losing the first three games (150-0). Expect Tatum to go above and beyond his per-game averages as he leads the Celtics in their quest for a berth in the NBA Finals.
Jimmy Butler over 28.5 points (-115): Butler has struggled over the past three games. He has looked hesitant and has lacked his usual aggressiveness, a crucial element for the Heat. However, there was a glimpse of "Playoff Jimmy" in the fourth quarter of Game 6, in which he scored 13 of his 24 points. Last season, Butler scored 47 points against the Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals in Boston. I'm expecting to see that guy on Monday. Butler has averaged 28.5 points per game in the 2023 playoffs.
André Snellings' best bets
Derrick White over 2.5 3-pointers (-123): White was the hero of Game 6 for his last-second tip, but he has actually been playing well all series long. He has made at least three 3-pointers in all six games of the series, and in the three games in Boston, he has averaged 4.0 3PG.
Marcus Smart over 2.5 3-pointers (+106): Smart is a streaky shooter, but he also has a knack for showing up in big games. After struggling from distance early in the series, he has picked it up of late to go 11-for-26 from behind the arc in his past three games. Playing at home, in a decisive Game 7 in which the Heat are likely to key on Tatum, I expect Smart to get his looks and knock some down.