Game 2: Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat prediction, odds, TV channel

Boston Celtics fans stressing too much about losing in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals to the Miami Heat need to remember that taking even one game at the FTX Arena is a success for this series.

Game 1 was not to be that game for a number of reasons, chiefly among them the absences of the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year (Marcus Smart) and this postseason’s surprise veteran hero (Al Horford).

Boston came undid due to a putrid effort in the third quarter after going into it with an eight-point lead and leaving it with a 17-point deficit. They were outscored by a total of 39-14 in the worst 12-minute stretch of the Celtics’ entire postseason up to this point.

A brilliant effort by the ‘Jays’ (53 points, 18 rebounds, nine assists combined) couldn’t overcome a 40-piece from Jimmy Butler that included 18 points from free throws. Without support from the second unit (outscored 34-26 Tuesday night), overcoming a stout Heat defense isn’t a given.

Will Game 2 be the needed bounce back before the Eastern Conference finals ships back up to Boston, or will the C’s backs be up against the wall with the season on the line at the T.D. Garden this coming weekend?

Hardwood Houdini has your odds and a prediction for the ESPN-televised tilt between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat Thursday night:

Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat odds, spread, over/under

According to WynnBet, the Celtics are 3.5-point underdogs against the Heat on the road. Miami is a -175 favorite at home, with the Cs moneyline set at +145. The over/under for the game has been placed at 207.5 points.

Celtics vs. Heat prediction

Game 1’s over hit, against the Houdini’s hunch, but with Miami laying 3.5, it’s tough not to explore a Cs upset with a slight hedge on a close loss.

Pick: Celtics +3.5 (-108)