The Eastern Conference Finals resume in the Sunshine State on Wednesday night. What was once a best-of-seven series between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat has been whittled down to a best-of-three after the Celtics rolled to victory two days ago. Despite the action shifting back to Miami, the NBA betting odds and picks have installed Boston as a small road favorite for tonight’s contest. Bettors who would prefer to steer clear of the game lines in this seesaw series can find some terrific alternatives in the NBA props market. The following article offers three of the best NBA player prop bets for the May 25th Celtics vs Heat Game 5 matchup.
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Best NBA Betting Player Props for Heat vs Celtics Tonight, 5/25
Grant Williams O/U 3.5 Rebounds
Even with Robert Williams III returning to the floor for the Celtics in Game 4, forward Grant Williams still saw a healthy 37 minutes of action. He finished with five total rebounds for the second straight game. Concerning the NBA prop bets line of 3.5 boards posted today, Williams has now cleared it in three consecutive contests, five of the last six, and seven of ten overall. He has regularly been eclipsing his season average of 3.6 boards per game as well.
The rise in production on the glass makes sense given that Williams has largely played over 30 minutes during the playoffs. The NBA betting picks total falls in line with a per-game average that he achieved while playing just 24 minutes a night during the regular season. Williams has actually been one of the most unheralded pieces of Boston’s playoff run to date. He figures to continue logging plenty of minutes alongside Robert Williams and Al Horford in the Celtics’ frontcourt.
Given how the Celtics clamped down defensively on Monday night, there were certainly plenty of rebounds available. With the defensive play by both teams only likely to get tighter as the Eastern Conference Finals progress, a player like Williams should have plenty of opportunities to once again make his presence felt on the glass. After all, he is primarily on the floor to space the floor, play solid defense and provide a burst of energy with his hustle. This plays right into his ability to once again surpass the NBA player props rebounding total.
NBA Player Props Prediction: Grant Williams OVER 3.5 Rebounds (-130)
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Victor Oladipo O/U 1.5 Assists
The starters may have forgotten to show up for the Heat in Game 4, but Victor Oladipo sure did. The huge early deficit likely afforded Oladipo some additional playing time that he otherwise wouldn’t have gotten. The 30-year-old knocked down four three-pointers to finish with 23 points. He also was getting teammates involved as well. For the first time in the Eastern Conference Finals, Oladipo had a multi-assist game. He did that and then some, finishing with six total helpers in the losing effort.
After his big performance on Monday, might the Heat opt to give Oladipo some additional run in this series going forward? With Kyle Lowry still battling a hamstring injury and being ineffective two days ago, there could very well be some extra minutes up for grabs in the Miami backcourt. Oladipo’s Game 4 stat line certainly did nothing to hurt his stock.
Of course, bettors should not expect Oladipo to sail over the NBA betting picks total with another half-dozen assists today. However, he is more than capable of achieving the two dimes necessary to clear the buy-low prop line of 1.5 assists. After all, he averaged 3.5 assists per game on the year. Considering that the Game 5 NBA player props total is two full assists lower than Oladipo’s season average, it’s no surprise that heavy juice is required to bet the over. With home-court likely to help some of the Heat role players offensively, this still sets up as a wager worth pursuing.
NBA Player Props Prediction: Victor Oladipo OVER 1.5 Assists (-176)
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Jimmy Butler O/U 25.5 Points
He may not be listed on the Game 5 injury report, but Jimmy Butler hardly looked like himself in Monday’s blowout loss. After sitting out the entire second half of the Heat’s Game 3 victory, he shot just 3-14 from the field in Game 4 and scored a series-low six points. Clearly, Butler is bothered by the knee swelling injury. He lacked any sort of explosion at the rim and was a step slow when attacking on Monday.
Bettors must keep in mind that this same knee pain already caused him to miss Game 5 in the First Round against Atlanta. With just 48 hours plus travel in between games, can we really expect Butler to be that much healthier than he was on Monday? Given his injury situation, it’s difficult to make a strong case for Butler to exceed tonight’s NBA player props total of 25.5 points. After all, he has failed to even crack double-digits in the scoring column in each of the last two games.
In addition to the fact that he is playing at what looks to be far less than 100%, this NBA picks line is set four full points above the 21.4 that Butler averaged on a per-game basis over the full season. Throw in the lethal Celtics defense and there are simply too many factors working against Butler in tonight’s game. The fact that many sportsbooks in the NBA betting market are offering his scoring prop at 24.5 ahead of Game 5 only adds to the value of the listed total at BetOnline.
NBA Player Props Prediction: Jimmy Butler UNDER 25.5 Points (-130)
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