Heat vs. Celtics First Basket Scorer & Player Prop Bets for Game 5: Tatum Favored to Strike First

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Jayson Tatum and the Celtics caught fire in Game 4 to avoid being swept out of the Eastern Conference Finals by Miami. Tonight, they look to pick up where they left off in another win-or-go-home contest, and we’ve put together Heat vs. Celtics Game 5 player props and first basket scorer bets

East Finals Betting: Celtics vs. Heat Game 5 predictions, odds | Celtics vs. Heat SGP for Game 5 | Basketball Betting Offers

Heat vs. Celtics: First Basket Scorer + More Player Props

The team that has won the opening tip has scored first only once in this series, which makes the first basket scorer odds a pretty interesting wager. 

Here are the odds to score the first basket in Game 5 from some of the best betting apps on the market.

PlayerDraftKingsFanDuelCaesars (Code 'TODAYFULL')
Jayson Tatum+425+350+425
Jaylen Brown +450+500+475
Bam Adebayo+500+600+440
Jimmy Butler+550+650+500
Kevin Love+850+950+1000
Derrick White+900+850+950

Although winning the opening tip hasn’t led to great results for the team with the ball first, it still helps a team’s odds. So far in this series, Game 4 was the only time the Heat have secured the first possession. However, Robert Williams III (91% opening tip win percentage) started the first two games and won the jump ball both times. Al Horford started the following two and split the opening tip wins with Bam Adebayo. 

Although Adebayo (54%) has a higher opening tip win percentage than Horford (42%), his head-to-head record in that category against Horford is 2-6. Given Horford’s success against Adebayo, it’s likely Boston will get the ball to start the game yet again. This time, we’re expecting the Celtics to strike first via Tatum. He seemed to have found his stroke and confidence in Game 4.

The young star has answered the call when he’s been needed the most this postseason, and he is usually aggressive early. That’s why we like him to score the first basket in tonight’s contest. 

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Best Player Prop Bets for Celtics vs. Heat Game 5 on Thursday

In Game 4, the Celtics looked more like the team that just missed out on winning a championship last year, as opposed to how they looked through the first three games of this series. Now that their stars have seemingly figured out Miami’s stout defense late in games, the pressure is now on the Heat to close things out as soon as possible. With each additional game, the Celtics draw closer to making history. If Miami is to avoid another loss, they need Jimmy Butler to be great from start to finish and to settle his team as the pressure builds. 

Jimmy Butler to Score Over 30 Points (+115 on DraftKings)

Playoff Jimmy has been dynamic during the Heat’s playoff run, especially come close-out time. Against the Bucks in Games 3 and 4 after Giannis Antetokounmpo’s return, the Heat’s odds of victory were slim to none. Butler responded with 56- and 42-point explosions against one of the better defenses in the league. 

He now finds himself in a comparable situation. He didn’t perform his best in Game 4, despite finishing with 29 points. That makes it abundantly clear that Butler has no problems scoring against the Celtics. Look for him to be dialed in from start to finish in this one to avoid a Game 6 and to produce one of his premier closeout performances in Boston. 

Grant Williams to Score Over 10 Points (+175 on FanDuel)

Grant Williams fanned the flames against the Heat in Game 2, while the Celtics had a lead late in the contest. It led to a Butler explosion that helped Miami come back to steal the game en route to a 3-0 lead. Since then, Williams has strung together back-to-back solid performances for Boston. He has averaged 29 minutes a game in the last two and scored over 10 in both. 

Williams also connected on at least two three-pointers in both outings and is playing stellar defense. He is shooting 50% from deep and 66% from the field. Thanks to the open looks Tatum is generating and his spike in minutes, we like Williams to top the 10-point mark again in this one.

Jason Tatum to Score Under 30 Points (-108 on Caesars)

Tatum is top of mind for the Heat after his 34-point performance in Game 4. He saw a lot of high-quality looks from deep thanks to the high pick-and-roll that Miami didn’t do well adjusting to late in the game. With a full day to review the tape and prepare, you can count on Erik Spoelstra to figure out a solution to the problem. 

Jayson Tatum, Celtics odds (Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire)
Jayson Tatum figures into our first basket scorer and player props analysis for Heat vs. Celtics Game 5 (Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire)

The solution may not completely stifle Tatum, but it should help keep him more in check, especially since he isn’t getting to the free-throw line as much as he did earlier in this series. We expect Tatum to be in the 25- to 28-point range in this one. Look for him to have a bigger impact in the assist category, as the Heat search for ways to force the ball from his hand. 

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About the Author
David Fletcher

David Fletcher

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David Fletcher is a sports betting writer at Gaming Today. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Stephen F. Austin State University and has nearly a decade of experience covering high school, collegiate, and professional sports in Houston. Fletcher is a big fan of the Astros, Rockets, and, unfortunately, according to him, the Texans. He enjoys bringing his love of sports and writing to the gaming industry, providing insight into quality sports bets.

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