Heat at Celtics: 3 Underdog Fantasy Props for Game 1
After a 2-1 Tuesday, we turn our attention to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Miami Heat will head north to Boston to take on the Celtics. While everyone and their brother is assuming Boston will roll in this series, Jimmy Buckets may have something to say about that.
The Celtics are currently an 8-point favorite at most online sportsbooks. The total is currently sitting at 212. We’re passing on both the side and the total to bring you some props.
Jimmy Butler UNDER 27.5 Points
We sure hate fading a stone-cold assassin like Jimmy Butler in the playoffs. Nevertheless, Butler has stayed under this point total in 4 of his last 5 games.
The former Marquette star only averaged 22.9 points per game during the regular season. He also stayed under this point total in 50 of 64 regular season games. Playoff Jimmy definitely plays at a higher level, but we still lean toward the Under in this spot.
We also like how Boston’s defense tends to lock down the stars of their opponents. The Celts rank 4th in points allowed and 3rd in opponent shooting efficiency. Butler will get his share of points, but Boston’s defense can hold him to 25 or less.
Derrick White OVER 8 Points
White may be a role player, but the Celtics aren’t afraid to give him plenty of minutes in big games. The 28-year-old averaged 12.4 points per game during the regular season.
The Heat have some defensive strong points, but they rank just 22nd in opponent shooting efficiency and 19th at defending three-pointers. White should be able to knock down some open jumpers against Miami in this one.
White didn’t do much in Game 7 against Philly, but he’s still in good current form. He’s gone over this point total in 9 of 13 playoff games this year. Let’s ride with the Over!
Max Strus OVER 11.5 Points
Strus played in 80 regular season games and averaged exactly 11.5 points. Though that doesn’t give us any perceived value, the former DePaul star has gone over this point total in 5 straight ball games. That type of excellent current form makes us pull the trigger on the Over.
The 27-year-old is one of Miami’s best threats from beyond the arc. Strus is averaging 2.3 made three-pointers through 31 career playoff games.
Boston defends three-pointers quite well, but we’re expecting most of their defensive effort to go toward stopping Jimmy Butler in Game 1. Look for Strus to knock down 2 or 3 shots from downtown on his way to going over this total.
Senior Sports Betting Contributor
Mike Noblin is a seasoned handicapper and the lead sports betting author at Hello Rookie. Mike has been involved with the industry for two decades, and has worked as a full time analyst and writer for the past three years. He covers a wide variety of sports, including the NFL, College Football, NBA, College Basketball, and MLB.